Anthropometric measuring tools
Hemocue Mohamed El Hafed Ould Dehah 21.02.2000
anthro equipment Ann Burgess 14.03.2000
Anthropometric measuring tools and costs Leda E. Nemer 08.04.2000
Nutrient Calculator Mutinta Hambayi 27.03.2000
Re: Nutrition status Calculator Tim Cole 08.04.2000
anthropometric measuring tools and costs Ph Chevalier 02.05.2000

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 23:16:39 +0000

From: Cheikh Mohamed El Hafed Ould Dehah <>

Subject: Hemocue


Chers Collegues

Dans le cadre de son programme pays la representation de l'OMS en Mauritanie va financer une pre-enquete sur les anemies carentielles en dans une region pilote, le Gorgol.

Dans ce cadre on aimerait acquerir des hemoglobinometres de type HEMOCUE et sommes reconnaissant pour quiconque pourrait nous indiquer l'adresse(TEL, Fax ou E-mail) d'un labo qui commercialise cet appareil.

Le demarrage de l'enquete est prevu a la mi-mars donc vue l'urgence vos informations seront les bienvenues.MERCI.


[Translated as:

Dear Colleagues,

WHO Mauritania country office will finance a pre-survey on anaemia in the pilot country of Gorgol.

For that purpose, hemoglobin-tests like hemocue are needed.

The survey should begin mid-March. Could you send me as soon as possible the address (phone, fax, or email) of a laboratory selling these hemoglobin-test. Thank you for your understanding.]


Cheikh Mohamed El Hafed Ould Dehah

Professeur de Nutrition, Faculte des Sciences et Techniques, Universite de Nouakchott, BP:5026 ou a l'OMS: Tel (222)252402


Note added: does anyone know of a readily accessible list of suppliers, not only of hemocue, but also other low-cost field friendly kits, anthro equipment etc. We are repeatedly asked for coordinates of such suppliers - perhaps MSF, IAPSO or the procurement officers from other organisations could help? It would also be useful if this information was on an independent web site - together with comments about how the equipment actually functioned in the field!

From: "Ann Burgess" <>

Subject: anthro equipment

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 15:44:45 -0000


I have been away and just read the email 21/2/00 requesting suppliers of anthropometric equipment. In case anyone is still interested there is a list of the suppliers we could locate at the end of the Nutrition Society's Information Sheet 4 on

There are instructions for making a wooden stadiometer on p78 of 'Better Nutrition for older people' by Ismail and Manandhar 1999 Available from HelpAged International

Ann Burgess

Nutrition Consultant

Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 10:42:33 +0100

From: Leda E. Nemer

Subject: Anthropometric measuring tools and costs



It would be good if those with practical experience of such instruments that they find particularly good or poor when subjected to exacting conditions in the field would let Dr Nemar know: perhaps Dr Nemar will collate the information and let us all know the answer to this perennial problem that we all face - which instruments really do the job well and which do not!


Dear Dr. Golden,

We are in the process of finalizing a Nutrition tool here at the World Bank entitled, "Nuts and Bolts", which has basic facts about nutrition, a guidebook to take to the field.

I am missing some information on anthropometric measuring tools and costs for a table we are putting together such as:

- most common source of where to purchase a MUAC tape and limitations of this instrument

- major limitations of using a single beam/bar scale - most common source of where to purchase Dial Spring and Tubular Spring scales and their limitations

- limitations of mother/child electronic scale

Any guidance you can provide on how to get this information will be greatly appreciated,



Leda E. Nemer, Junior Associate

The World Bank, Health, Nutrition and Population

1818 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20433

T 202-458-5954,

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 12:42:35 +0100

From: "Mutinta Hambayi" <>

Subject: Nutrient Calculator



Dear all,

Is there a hand held or pocket nutrient calculator ? I know of computer programs but Iam honestly looking for something I can carry around with me in the field to quickly determine food rations or substitutions to food items. It is an exercise I so often have to do in my type of work as a Nutritinionst in an emergency setting like Sudan



Note added:

And I presume a portable computer is to big - there are now palm-sized organisers that take full programs - but I do not think those writing for Psion (etc) have converted the programs.

There is a hand-held WHZ, HAZ and WAZ calculator that has been developed by the Red Cross Memorial Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa: suggest you contact the head of department Alan Sive <> for that - but it does not do what Mutinta wants (Mike Golden)

Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 12:11:18 +0100

From: Tim Cole <>

Subject: Re: Nutrition status Calculator


I have an improved version of the anthropometry slide rule I described in AJCN back in 1981 (Cole TJ, Donnet ML, Stanfield JP. Weight-for-height indices to assess nutritional status--a new index on a slide-rule. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:1935-43).

The new version gives weight, height and BMI centiles by sex based on the 1990 British reference, and also calculates adult BMI.

The Child Growth Foundation is marketing it.

Best wishes, Tim Cole Phone +44(0)20 7905 2666 Fax +44(0)20 7242 2723 Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK


MG: Thanks so much for the message. The problem is that nobody in the field uses centiles - it is difficult enough to have two systems in operation (% >of median and Z-score) without a third.

TC: I understand the problem of centiles vs Z-scores. The British reference tries to get round this by using centiles that are evenly spaced on the Z-score scale, two-thirds of a Z-score apart. So you can read them as centiles or as Z-scores, according to taste.

MG: Does your new slide rule give Z-score or % median? Perhaps you could add this?

TC: A quick redesign should only take a couple of weeks ...

MG: The BMI for age or height has been tried and found to be to difficult.

TC: I also understand that BMI is a fairly novel concept for children, but I predict that it's going to become more important. I have a BMJ paper in press which proposes age-specific cut-offs for child BMI for overweight and obesity,admittedly the other end of the spectrum from your primary interest :-) , which I hope will be adopted worldwide.

From: Ph Chevalier

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 12:04:39 +0100 (BST)

Subject : anthropometric measuring tools and costs


Dear Dr Golden,

I didn't see the 1st message on "Nutrition status calculator" but I would like to add some informations on this topic and aggregate some on the Ngonut subject "anthropometric measuring tools and costs" from Leda E Nemer.

Ten years ago, in Bolivia, I developed for medical students and health workers a field abacus to compute directly Weight for Height from z-score values for boys and girls (aged 0 to 60 months).

The abacus consist on 2 parts:

- the 1st one fixed, reproduces the NCHS/OMS growth chart W eight for height with Weight on Y-axis on Height on X-axis. 4 double graphics give the W (H) level respectively for median, -1SD, -2SD and -3SD.

- The 2d reproduce at the same scale the Y-axis (weight) and slide on the 1st part at the X-axis level.

It is very easy to use in hospital ward as in the field.

Ex: a child (boy) with 93.5 cm and 12 kg; adjusting the sliding part to 93.5 cm, we can directly read in front of 12 kg his nutritional status !

(please see the file attached).

I realized and edited this abacus in Bolivia at a very low cost with local press and I am preparing the same in French for my current job in West Africa (the cost is 821 euros for the first 500 samples and 21 Eur the next 100).

I can give you more informations if you want and I'm ready to do an English version of this abacus if Leda Nemer from World Bank is concerned.

With best regards

Ph Chevalier

Centre IRD (ex ORSTOM) de Ouagadougou