Healthy food
Micronutrient deficiencies and dietary intake are among the many indicators that the survey will assess. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has officially commenced fieldwork for the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2024–2025, in collaboration with a group of strategic partners including the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, health authorities, and local statistical centres in the UAE. This survey aims to collect accurate and reliable data on the health and nutrition landscape in the UAE.

The survey campaign seeks to update the health and nutrition database of the population and measure health performance indicators by collecting field information using an approved methodology. The data will support decision-makers in developing policies and strategies, measuring health and nutrition outcomes, and planning state-level health policies, all in line with the vision of “We the UAE 2031.”

Since announcing the campaign in May at a press conference, the ministry has launched an awareness campaign through various media channels, including its website and social media platforms. Additionally, a unified number (80011111) has been provided to respond to inquiries, clarify all stages of the health survey, and explain the work mechanisms of field teams.

Identity of survey teams

The ministry said that the identity of the National Health and Nutrition Survey teams can be confirmed through their customised uniforms, which feature the Ministry of Health and Prevention logo and the survey campaign logo. Additionally, the photo and information on their ID cards can be matched with the ID card carried by the health survey employee.

MOHAP called on the carefully selected citizens and resident families in the health survey sample to cooperate and facilitate the work of the field team. The team consists of licensed and accredited researchers and statisticians from competent authorities, working under the supervision of a higher committee that includes representatives from all concerned parties.

It added that the successful execution of the national health survey campaign, supported by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and other government agencies, depends on the participants’ cooperation in completing the electronic questionnaires.

Coordination with partners

Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, said: “The deployment of the National Health and Nutrition Survey teams was coordinated with our partners and local authorities.”

Al Rand emphasised that the data collected would establish a robust foundation for enhancing health service quality and improving public health across the nation.

Critical step

He added, “This survey represents a critical strategic step towards realising our vision of building a world-class health system. By gathering comprehensive and current data, we will be able to formulate innovative health policies and programmes tailored to the needs of our diverse population, thereby supporting the country’s sustainable development goals.”

Electronic questionnaires

Alia Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Center at the ministry, stated, “We have meticulously designed a data collection methodology that adheres to the highest international standards.”

The survey will be conducted through personal interviews during field visits, utilising electronic questionnaires that have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national health authorities. These questionnaires are available in four languages—Arabic, English, Hindi, and Urdu—to ensure that data is comprehensively and accurately collected from various segments of society.

Dr. Harbi further clarified that the survey would include a broad spectrum of health and nutrition indicators. These include socio-economic factors, household health expenditures, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors, biophysical measurements, access to healthcare, micronutrient deficiencies, dietary intake, child growth metrics, and maternal health. She underscored the ministry’s commitment to data confidentiality, ensuring that the information collected will be used solely for statistical and research purposes.

Survey sample

The National Health and Nutrition Survey 2024-2025 targets a large sample of 10,000 families for the health survey and another 10,000 for the nutrition survey, comprising 40 per cent Emiratis and 60 per cent expats, in addition to 2,000 workers. The target age groups include the elderly, adults over 18 years old, females aged 15 to 49, pregnant women and children from one day to 17 years old.