The Universal Salt Iodization program has been inaugurated in Larkana District, Sindh Province of Pakistan. A one-day training session for salt processors was conducted at the DHO Office. Inayat Ali Mangi and Khan Mohammad, Field Program Officers, led the session about methods of Iodization. District Health Officer, Dr. Khalilullah Shaikh, urged the processors to implement salt iodization, which is in the best public interest.
Iodine deficiency disorders are a serious public health problem in Pakistan. At present, 40 percent of women and 60 percent of children are affected by a lack of iodine. To ensure adequate availability and use of Iodized salt, the Sindh Provincial Assembly passed a bill on compulsory salt iodization in 2013. According to this act, the manufacturers, processors, and importers of salt may not process, store, sell non-iodized salt nor sell any misbranded or mislabelled salt.
In Punjab, the province’s Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Aslam Chaudhry said the companies producing iodized salt were serving the humanity through elimination of iodine deficiency disorders. He delivered these remarks while inaugurating the Best Salt Processor Award Ceremony under IDD/USI Program on Saturday. He said that children who use iodized salt can have IQs higher by 13 points than children consuming non-iodized salt. The ceremony was organized jointly by the Micronutrient Initiative and the Punjab Health Department to acknowledge the services of salt processors that showed commitment to achieving adequate iodization of 100 percent of edible salt processed in 2010. The winners have been selected through a meticulous process from over 1,000 salt processors working in Punjab. NPM IDD/USI Dr Tausif Akhtar Janjua informed the participants that the USI program has been extended to all 36 districts of Punjab and more than 90 million people were benefiting from adequate iodization 100 percent of edible salt.