DOH targets 90% of households in Region I to use iodized salt

BAGUIO CITY – During the Ilocos Region Universal Salt Iodization Consultative Meeting and Planning Workshop held at Hotel Veniz, Baguio City on February 20-21, 2014, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) representative Edward Otico reported the following results of the 2008 National Nutrition Survey and 2011 Updating Survey:

High availability of iodized salt (89.8%), but low availability (46.7%) of “adequately” iodized salt. Median iodine content was 14.1ppm (below 15ppm minimum). 53.3% of salt have below 15ppm iodine.

Good median Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE) for children 6-12 yrs old (159 ug/l, cut-off 100) and lactating women (112 ug/l, cut-off 100), but poor for pregnant women (88 ug/l, cut-off 150). Only 28.8% of pregnant women had sufficient iodine. For children and lactating women, 71.8% and 53% had sufficient iodine.

Otico also demonstrated the use of the WYD iodine test kit to check the iodine content of salt samples collected from different salt producers in the region.

In this consultative meeting and workshop conducted by GAIN and the Department of Health Regional Office I through its Health Program Section of Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement Division (RLED) and which was attended by the salt producers of the provinces, cities and municipalities composed of provincial nutrition action officers, provincial nutritionists, registered sanitary inspectors, and provincial health nurses, National Nutrition Council’s Nutrition Officer Ethelreina A. Balisnomo discussed the highlights of the National Salt Iodization Program Strategic Plan 2011-2016 to update the participants on the major accomplishments of the plan which include the priority actions and activities on the five components namely:  technical assistance,  promotion and advocacy, regulation and monitoring, program manage-ment and support activities.

Regional agencies and local government units were urged to appropriate resources on the salt iodization program implement-ation while the participants were tasked to develop their respective action plans to address the issues on program implementation.

Dr. Amelia Dumaoang of the DOH challenged the group to fastrack the implementation of the salt iodization program in the region.

The program is targetting 90% of the households in the region to use iodized salt adequately. (Tawid News Team)