Coinciding with observance of Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder prevention day, Pakistan’s public health officials call for a stronger salt iodisation program. The Universal Salt Iodisation programme is a government health initiative that bans the sale of noniodised salt, in an effort to lower iodine deficiency. The latest national nutrition survey in 16 districts of south Punjab was reviewed by health officers and reported in Pakistan’s news:
Public health: Salt iodisation should be strengthened
Chaudhary said the Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) programme should be strengthened to reduce iodine deficiency disorders. He said the USI programme had shown success in combating iodine deficiency disorders. “There is a need to strengthen the monitoring framework to improve the quality of salt iodisation and achievement of sustainable results,” he said. He stressed the Health Department should also expand the scope of the USI programme….
Micronutrient Initiative (MI) Programme Manager Khawaja Masood Ahmad said in the National Nutrition Survey 2011 had showed that 79 percent people in the province were consuming iodised salt, compared to only 17 percent in 2001. USI Programme Manager Munawar Hussain said Pakistan was among the few countries where iodine deficiency disorder was still a public health problem.
He said clinical research had shown that iodine deficiency was the major cause of mental impairment, brain damage and 13-15 per cent low IQ in children. He said pregnant faced several problems women due to iodine deficiency. He said making iodised salt available for households was an easy and cost-effective strategy to eliminate iodine deficiency disorder globally…Read more.
India’s government has been working on iodised salt programs to lower iodine deficiencies since 1952. WHO, UNICEP, World Food Programme, and NGOs have since joined these efforts, followed by the formation of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders in 1986.