Sat January 20, 2018
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Islamabad

December 6, 2017

Share

Advertisement

All stakeholders agree to need for mandatory legislation on universal salt Iodization

All stakeholders agree to need for mandatory legislation on universal salt Iodization

Our correspondent
Islamabad : While there were no two opinions about the need to have mandatory legislation on Universal Salt Iodization (USI) at the national and sub-national levels in Pakistan, the role of different stakeholders in maximising coverage featured high on the agenda of a national seminar held here Monday.
Organised by the National Food Fortification Alliance (NFA), Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA, Pak) and Ministry of National Health, with support of EU WINS Programme, the seminar was attended by government officials, academicians, civil society representatives, media persons and members of Parliament from various political parties.
Opening the seminar, Aslam Shaheen, Chief of Nutrition at the Planning Commission of Pakistan/SUN government focal person, appreciated the government of Sindh for enactment of USI Act 2013 and notification of its rule rules of business for implementation. He hoped that other provinces would also enact similar laws. “I would encourage all stakeholders including parliamentarians, media, religious scholars, private sector, donors, UN, academicians and civil society to work together for ensuring 100% USI coverage in Pakistan,” Aslam added.
Dr. Naseer Muhammad Nizamani, Country Director of Nutrition International reminded the audience that according to the National Nutrition Survey 2011, only 62.4% mothers have knowledge of iodised salt, while utilisation of iodised salt at the household level in Pakistan is 69% only.
Dr. Khawaja Masood Ahmed, Coordinator of National Food Fortification Alliance said, Iodine deficiency is the world’s single major cause of mental retardation. It affects brain development during the early stages of pregnancy and in early childhood. Severe Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) include cretinism, stillbirth and miscarriage and increase infant mortality. Dr. Ahsanullah Khan, National Programme Manager, Nutrition International, said even mild deficiency can cause a significant loss of learning ability–about 13.5 intelligence quotient points (IQ points) at population level–as well as other symptoms such as goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. IDD is the leading cause of preventable brain damage worldwide, producing typical reductions in IQ.
Bernard Francois, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation of Pakistan, said the European Commission is committed to supporting partner countries tackle undernutrition through evidence-based interventions. He said that in order to contribute to the reduction of stunning, EC has decided to increase its effort to further development and scaling up of food fortification as one of the elements under the EC nutrition portfolio that contributes to reducing micronutrient deficiencies.
Faisal Kareem Kundi, leader of Pakistan People’s Party made a commitment to prioritize nutrition in his political manifesto. He assured full support for enforcement of USI law. Senator Sehar Kamran stressed the need to raise awareness to maximize usage of iodized salt. She offered her support for enforcement of mandatory food fortification laws. Dr. Muhammad Malook Bugti, Director Technical, Ministry of Health, thanked participants and speakers for their deliberations.

Advertisement

Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Topstory

Opinion

Newspost

Editorial

National

World

Sports

Business

Karachi

Lahore

Islamabad

Peshawar