National Health Surveys serve as an important tool for collecting nationally representative data for monitoring population health status and for informing evidence-based health policy and planning. The Ministry of Health (MoH) has thus far conducted three National Health Surveys - in 1984, 1994 and in 2000. A basic principle adopted in designing the 2012 NHS was to collect data that are comparable with those collected in past national health surveys (1984, 1994 and 2000), and avoid, to the extent possible, duplication of data that were already collected by recent surveys of similar nature (e.g. BMIS, 2010).
To ensure relevancy of the data to be collected, various departments/divisions of the Ministry of Health were consulted with regard to their specific data requirements. Where 2012 NHS could not serve the purpose of collecting rigorous data for specific programmatic concerns, questions were included to collect only benchmark information that can serve as basis for further in-depth exploration.
The Standard methodology and model questions used in the global Demographic and Health Surveys (measure DHS) and others such as WHO STEPS survey were adopted but customized to suit local context. The 2012 NHS collected data on a wide range of health indicators including baseline information on emerging health issues such as non-communicable disease risk factors for the first time.
• Provide reliable and nationally representative data to monitor trend in population health and health situation in Bhutan
• Provide reliable, updated and nationally representative data on priority health indicators to aid the Ministry of Health and partner organizations in planning and formulation of health policies and strategies
• Examine access to and utilization of health care services
• Assess childhood immunization coverage, Human Papilloma Virus vaccination coverage and maternal tetanus toxoid vaccination coverage
• Assess the prevalence of violence against women by both intimate and non-partners and women’s attitude towards domestic violence
Source of Information
Ministry of Health, 2012. National Health Survey 2012. Thimphu, Bhutan.