Kohima, October 24: Even as Nagaland falls under “areas of severest iodine deficiency”, concerted awareness effort has brought down Goitre prevalence rate to 1% from 34.3% in the 1960s.
This was revealed by State Programme Officer, National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme, Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Nagaland, Dr Akuo Sorhie during the observation of State level Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day at LCS Building here on Wednesday.
She said that Nagaland lies in the sub-Himalayans belt, and it falls under areas of severest iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency remains one of the most neglected and most widespread of all nutritional deficiencies.
“Nagaland was declared as one of the IDD endemic State in India through a base line survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in early 1960’s where 34.3% of Goitre prevalence was recorded,” she said, while also revealing that recent survey indicated the prevalence rate has come down to about 1%.
She also expressed confidence that the concerted awareness effort would help the State in bring down the prevalence to below 1% by 2020.
Dwelling on the theme “Iodised salt, traders responsibilities,” she urged salt traders to join the fight against IDDs while also asking them to sell only iodised salt for human consumption.
Stating that iodised salt traders carry an important responsibility in ensuring universal consumption of iodised salt, Dr Sorhie urged traders to segregate iodised salt and non-iodised salt.
“Don’t expose the iodised salt bags to rain, high humidity, extreme heat or sunlight, dust and other conditions of contamination,” she said.
She asked them to buy iodised salt only from reputed and authorised iodised salt producers and also check the quality of iodised salt held in stock and be sure that it contain 15 ppm or above of iodine before releasing in the market.
She also told them to display a poster or dangler declaring that iodised salt is available in their shop.
“You are the vital link between iodised salt producers and consumers. Safeguarding their health is in your hands,” she said.
“Selling of non-iodised salt is banned in the country under provisions of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and is liable for prosecution,” Dr. Sorhie said, adding that in pursuance of Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition & Restriction on sales) Regulation Act, Government of Nagaland has prohibited the sale of non-iodised salt for human consumption.
Any individual/wholesaler/trader found selling non-iodised for human consumption is liable for prosecution and shall be penalised under Section 58 of Food Safety & Standard Act, a government notification issued in 2017 stated.
Chief Medical Officer Kohima, Dr Ritu Thurr said that more than 20 crores people are at the risk of Iodine deficiency disorder in the country. He said about 7% of the population suffer from IDD.
“No state/UTs are free from IDD. Everyone requires Iodine daily,” he said.
Dr Thur said iodine is a micro nutrient essential to human life, adding “It is essential for normal growth, development and functioning of both the brain and the body.”
Iodized salt is nothing but a common salt to which a small quantity of Iodine compound is added. It is use to prevent Iodine deficiency.
Meanwhile, during the programme, salt traders in Kohima took pledge to stock and sell only iodised salt for human consumption in their shops. They declared that they are the vital link between iodised salt producers and consumers and safeguarding the health of the people is in their hands.
Bendang and Khovetolu gave demonstration of Iodised Salt with Salt Testing Kits.
Chaired by technical Officer NIDDCP, Nunsang, KMC administrator Kovi Meyase delivered the welcome address while ZLO Kohima Dr Hezo tendered the vote of thanks. (Page News Service)