Expansion Of Salt Iodization In Balochistan- A Consultative Meeting
The national nutrition survey 2011 depicts a high percentage of women (29 %) and children (35 %) in Balochistan with iodine deficiency. The only easy and cost-effective way to address the situation is to improve the intake of iodine by these groups by ensuring 100% salt iodization in the province.
Production of iodized salt itself is a task that has been worked upon for several years however still remains an unfinished agenda primarily due to the costs and problems associated with the procurement of potassium iodate (KIO3).
To discuss the major issues regarding iodization, a consultative meeting on ‘Expansion of Salt Iodization in Balochistan’ was organized on 18th March 2017 by Provincial Nutrition cell.
The meeting was attended by the salt processors, Additional Secretary Law department Mr. Shaukat Ali Feyrozi, Dr. Shafiq ur Rehman representative of UNICEF and Dr. Aftab Bhatti representative of WFP attended the meeting.
A presentation on the key ongoing interventions was delivered by the provincial representative of Micronutrient Initiative Mr. Allaudin Kakar and the Provincial Program Manager Nutrition Dr. Ali Nasir Bugti.
Thorough discussions took place around the iodization bottlenecks and the following priority actions were recommended by the participants;
- Provision of equipment to the Quality Control Labs to check the quality of the salt as well as the quality of the rock from which the salt is produced.
- Enactment of the law for iodization/fortification to be done on a priority basis
- Support/subsides to the salt processors in the procurement of KIO3
- Ensuring an un-interrupted supply of KIO3 by the government/Partners (WFP & MI)
- Demand Generation for the consumption of iodized salt
A follow-up meeting will be organized in the second quarter (2017) to discuss the progress made against the key action points.