Only 17% iodised salt used domestically


Health experts have said that though 56.4 percent people are aware of the importance of iodised salt, its use at household level is only 17 percent in the country. According to them, low consumption of iodised salt at domestic level can have adverse medical effects on men, women and children and may cause several health complications, including profound effects on mental development.
They said the problem was further accentuated by the fact that the quality of salt production and its iodisation were not controlled through a proper regulatory mechanism due to which even the salt which was labeled as iodised may or may not be iodised actually. They said iodine deficiency in children leads to mental retardation, loss of cognitive abilities, still born, miscarriage and birth of children with congenital abnormalities like deaf, dumb and stunted.
They revealed an estimated 2.1 million children are born each year with mental deficiency in the country due to iodine deficiency in pregnant women. They further disclosed goiter rates among school-age children were 4.3 percent in urban and 8.2 percent in rural areas of the country.
According to national nutrition survey, the national prevalence of goiter among women was 21 percent, they added.
They added the urinary iodine test results revealed a bigger figure of about 36.5 percent of mothers and 23 percent of pre-school children suffering from severe iodine deficiency.
Dr Waseem Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said iodising edible salt was an easy and inexpensive way to provide iodine to children. He said due to low consumer demand, lack of quality control and absence of legislation there was low production and consumption of iodised salt. He added institutions both public and private, individuals, parents and children should come forward and start awareness drives for the elimination of iodine deficiency disorder from the country.
He was of the view that the role of the media was important to create awareness among the people about the issue as the most common way to prevent such pervasive public health problem was salt iodisation. He suggested a three-pronged strategy to address iodine deficiency disorders in the country, including legislation for universal salt iodisation, supply side interventions and demand creation activities.


  1. the article reflects the great tradgedy that is on going in Pakistan. it has been since early 1990 that health insitutues and agenices have tried very hard to eliminate iodine deficiency and yes, it is time for the media to take up the story and get those poor school children out of ignnorance becasue thier IQ quotent is so low. then the tradegy of mothers who cannot give birth to chidren only becaseu they simnply do not have iodized salt. like all minerals (vitamine A<B<C<D, and minerals Iron, zink) iodine is part of the category. you need a little every day to saty healthy. on the note of little; the salt industry adds about 60grams of iodine to 1,000 kilograms of salt. that is all you need. BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE: do not over use salt. a pinch of iodized salt a day is enough. thansk you and all the best from. Mr. Salty

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