A household survey is now being conducted across all parishes in Barbados to obtain information about the health, education and well being of women and children, as well as on child protection and HIV/AIDS.

Administered by the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is an international household programme developed by UNICEF in conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund and UN Women. It will come to an end on August 14.

According to Acting Director of the BSS, Aubrey Browne, the survey was designed to fill some of the gaps in this island’s statistical information that are necessary for reporting on the Millennium Development Goals, as well as providing information that would be useful for policy planning and "looking at the whole social situation as it regards women and children in the island".

He added that the survey was "fairly comprehensive" and would attempt to examine in detail information on women especially those of reproductive age, between 15 and 49 and their responses to the rearing and caring of children. "It also specifically looks at children five years and under, with a view to obtaining information as to how these children are raised within households. The survey also looks at the households in which these women and children live to assess whether adequate care is provided for the children and also for the welfare of the women," he disclosed.

Mr Browne explained that field investigators would also be testing the variety of salt used in the home, since this had a bearing on child development and they would also weigh and measure the height of the children as part of the survey.

Specific questions will be asked on: the number of persons in the household; education, water and sanitation; household characteristics; child labour and discipline; access to mass media, child mortality, maternal and new-born health; post-natal health; attitudes toward domestic violence; marriage/union; contraception; and life satisfaction.

All interviewers and MICS field personnel will carry ID cards bearing their pictures and the logos of BSS, UNICEF and MICS.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and the public’s cooperation is appreciated.


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