People still consuming low-iodine salt in rural Jalandhar, says survey

  • Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2016 19:32 IST

Residents of rural areas of the district have been consuming salt low on iodine content, a report prepared by the health department has revealed.

Samples of salt were collected by accredited social health activists (ASHAs) in a door-to-door campaign last month at Bara Pind, Jandiala, Bilga, Jamsher, Adampur, Kala Bakra, Kartarpur, Mehatpur and Shahkot among others.

However, the survey did not hint at an alarming situation, adding that residents of Bara Pind, Adampur and Mehatpur are still taking non-iodised salt in their meals.

A disease, goitre, usually occurs among children due to deficiency of iodine, in which throat gets enlarged. It is necessary for a person to consume 15 micrograms of iodine a day.

An ASHA worker said each of them visited 200 houses and prepared a comprehensive report.

She said salt should always be kept covered so that iodine does not evaporate but people usually ignore this.

An official said the main motive of this programme is to make people aware of testing of iodine in front of them through newspaper advertisements, radio, and television.

In November 2015, people in eight districts of Punjab were found suffering from widespread iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) after which the health department started on-the-spot testing of salt.

These districts were Jalandhar, Amritsar, Tar n Taran, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Patiala, SAS Nagar and Rupnagar.

As per the survey, the Union government in the past has found the prevalence of IDD in Jalandhar (23.4%), Kapurthala (8.1%) Tar n Taran (15.9%), Amritsar ( 20.3%), Patiala (6.99%), SAS Nagar (6.74%) and Gurdaspur (10.1 %), after which, the government selected these areas for on-the-spot testing of salt.

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