Pakistan state plans mandatory iodisation of salt

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pakistan

Pakistan’s Sindh state is set to make the iodisation of salt compulsory in a bid to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders in the state, where over 50 per cent of the population is at risk.

Iodine is an element that is essential for human nutrition. It occurs naturally in soil, from where it is taken up by crops , but in many parts of the world iodine levels in salt are low. This can lead to insufficient inadequate intake of iodine by mothers during pregnancy and by children in the early years can cause brain damage and significantly lower the IQ.

The best amount of iodine depends on life stage. The WHO and UNICEF recommend children age 0-7 years receive 90 micrograms (mcg) a day, children age 7-12 years, 120 mcg, people over 12, 150 mcg; and pregnant and lactating women, 200 mcg.

Salt is seen as the ideal carrier for added iodine as it is consumed by almost everyone; even people in the poorest communities tend to add some salt to food. In some countries, however, public health advice does not reach the poorest communities, or there may be barriers (financial or cultural) to people acting on it.

Sindh, one of the four states that make up the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, had previously prepared a draft law making iodisation of salt mandatory. This has now been finalised and is tabled to be presented before the Sindh Assembly according to Pakistan’s Daily Times.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Micronutrient Initiative, Special Secretary Public Health Dr Suresh Kumar said: “The fact that iodine is vital for normal body growth, physical well being and mental development make it necessary that cost effective interventions are promoted and adopted… “Government would also ensure production of 100 percent iodised salt for edible purposes.”

Aiming to reach all

Pakistan does already have a Universal Salt Iodisation programme in place, which is said to cover 102 districts and benefit 154 million people. It has been working with the Micronutrient Initiative to revitalise this programme and to work with policy makers at local and national levels. The aims to cover the whole country by 2013.

According to MicroNutrient International, issues inhibiting USI are production level constraints, supply problems, weak enforcement of regulations and policy, and inadequate consumer demand.

Related news

Related products

show more

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Content provided by Glanbia Nutritionals | 07-Nov-2023 | Product Brochure

As discussions around female empowerment widen, and advances in women’s health access and provision accelerate, the implications for business, healthcare,...

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Content provided by Agilent Technologies | 06-Nov-2023 | Infographic

Microplastics are any plastic-derived synthetic solid particle or polymeric matrix, ranging in size from 1 µm to 5 mm and insoluble in water.

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Dubai, Dec 4-5

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Dubai, Dec 4-5

Content provided by World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Dubai | 01-Nov-2023 | Event Programme

The renowned World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit has been taking place since 2013 in London, San Francisco and São Paulo. Now launching in the Middle East,...

Pycnogenol® Supports Cognitive Function

Pycnogenol® Supports Cognitive Function

Content provided by Horphag Research | 18-Sep-2023 | White Paper

Clinical research shows daily supplementation with Pycnogenol® may help support brain function in a variety of age groups with results showing improved...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast