Principal Secretary, H&FW, Ajay Sawhney and officials of Andhra Pradesh along with Chief of Field Office for UNICEF in AP & Karnataka, Ruth Leano, at the unveiling of the campaign to promote use of iodized salt
Government of Andhra Pradesh launches a campaign to promote use of iodized salt
HYDERABAD, 04 November 2013 - The Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched a massive campaign to scale up the consumption of iodized salt in collaboration with the UNICEF. The launch coincided with the Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day observed on 21 October.
The state of Andhra Pradesh reports the lowest consumption of adequately iodized salt in the country, a major risk factor threatening to limit development potential and active learning capacity of children. Iodine deficiency results in stunting, goiter, lessens 10 to 15 IQ points and limits the development potential of children.
The National Family Health Survey 2005-06 indicates that only one-third of the households use adequately iodized salt in the state.
"The Government of Andhra Pradesh is supplying iodine fortified salt through the Amma Hastham welfare scheme that benefits the BPL population in the state," said Ajay Sawhney, Principal Secretary, Public Health and Family Welfare, while delivering the inaugural address. “We are also working along with the manufacturers to increase the production of iodine fortified salt,” he added.
“It’s a serious public health concern,” said Ruth Leano, Chief of Field Office for UNICEF in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
“Our partnership with the state government to create both the demand for iodize salt, make available iodized salt at an affordable price and ensure that there is an uninterrupted supply of iodized salt are some ways to start an aggressive effort to address the iodine deficiency disorders (IDD),” added Leano.
“All of us need to come together to ensure that pregnant women and children consume only iodine fortified salt,” said Chiranjiv Choudhary, Commissioner, Women and Child Welfare Department. “This is something doable with no costs involved. It will have a positive impact on the health profile of the state,” he added.
The launch event at Ravindra Bharati saw participation of around 700 stakeholders including nurses and midwives and officers from the health department and the women and child welfare department.
Y. V. Anuradha, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, urged the public to switch over to iodine fortified salt and check the logo of “smiling sun” on the pack to identify iodized salt at the time of purchase.
A series of activities have been planned across the state during the week-long campaign to build awareness including a host of communication activities, audio/video telecasts, distribution of salt testing kits, community awareness through health workers, coordination with the civil supplies department to ensure supply of iodized salt through the public distribution system among others.
“As part of our nursing training, we do field visits and create awareness among the masses about various health issues. Now we can confidently tell the public about the benefits of using iodized salt in their diets,” said Sister Anusha, who is pursuing General Nursing Midwifery (GNM) training at Vijay Marie School of Nursing at Khairatabad.