Upgrade of the VMNIS
The upgrade of the VMNIS Micronutrients Database is occurring in three phases.
- Phase I: Database restructuring. The goal will be a database which is more efficient, can exploit new innovations in information technology, and includes more nutritional indicators. Currently the WHO Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit is working in collaboration with the Information Technology and Telecommunications Unit of the WHO and an external information technology company to finalize the restructure of the database.
- Phase II: Data migration. This phase includes the transfer of data currently in the VMNIS databases on anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency to the upgraded Micronutrients Database and the systematic search in the scientific literature and throughout the international community for all surveys containing information on micronutrients. The search includes a retrieval of all published literature through a structured search of PubMed. It also includes contacting WHO Regional Offices, other UN agencies, and other partner organizations to solicit information on nutrition/micronutrient surveys. The systematic search will be repeated every year to ensure that the database is maintained up-to-date. Currently, the staff of VMNIS is incorporating data on zinc, iron and folate into the VMNIS Micronutrients Database.
- Phase III: Redesign of website. The redesign of the website will allow the end-user to query information by variables such as indicator, age group, physiological status, and year. The end-user will be able to generate tables and graphs in addition to seeing the prevalence and distribution information. Currently, the public can access documents in pdf format with summary data on micronutrient status by country. At the completion of phase III, the public will control what and how the data compiled in the VMNIS Micronutrients Database is retrieved and presented.