Responding to several requests from the World Health Assembly1,2,3 to strengthen surveillance of micronutrient deficiencies at the global level, a global micronutrient deficiency information system comprising data on iodine deficiency, vitamin A deficiency and anaemia was originally established in 1991 by the Nutrition Unit of the World Health Organization in collaboration with the Department of International Health of the University of Michigan, United States of America. This system formerly known as the Micronutrient Deficiency Information System later changed its name to become the Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS). The VMNIS is currently managed by the Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
Evaluations of epidemiological and informatics capabilities of the system in 2009 are guiding an upgrade and expansion of VMNIS to include a more comprehensive Micronutrients Database and additional resources and tools for vitamin and mineral nutrition surveillance by Member States and their partners, as well as the incorporation and utilization of advances in information technology to disseminate the information.
The VMNIS supports Member States and their partners in monitoring the vitamin and mineral nutrition status of populations with the ultimate goal of improving the health and development through adequate vitamin and mineral nutrition.
WHO thanks the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s, in particular the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control Program (IMMPaCt) and the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) for their technical and financial support. WHO also thanks Sight and Life for providing financial support towards the maintenance and dissemination platform of the VMNIS.
WHO also acknowledges the hard work and collaboration of many individuals, institutions, governments, nongovernmental, and international organizations to maintain VMNIS information up to date. Special thanks are due to ministries of health of the WHO Member States, WHO regional offices, WHO country offices and partner organizations.
- Resolution WHA45.33. National strategies for prevention and control of micronutrient malnutrition. In: Forty-fifth World Health Assembly, Geneva, 4-14 May 1992. Volume III. Resolutions and decisions. Geneva. World Health Organization, 1992.
- Resolution WHA43.2. Prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders. In: Forty-third World Health Assembly, Geneva, 7-17 May 1990. Volume III. Resolutions and decisions. Geneva. World Health Organization, 1990.
- Resolution WHA39.31. Prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders. In: Thirty-ninth World Health Assembly, Geneva, 5-16 May 1986. Volume II. Resolutions and decisions. Geneva. World Health Organization, 1986.
- Resolution WHA37.18. Prevention and control of vitamin A deficiency and xerophthalmia. In: Thirty-seventh World Health Assembly, Geneva, 7-17 May 1984. Volume II. Resolutions and decisions. Geneva. World Health Organization, 1984.