News on Health and Nutrition in Eastern Visayas region
 
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Salt shipments to Region 8 watched

By NATION BUILDER
September 9, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY    Household salt being shipped to Eastern Visayas region may not contain the required iodine content as set by the Food and Drug Administration.

This was the focus of concern in a meeting held on Sept. 2, 2010 by the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (BATF) that is composed of the BFAD, DOH, DILG, DepEd, PNP, PPA, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and media, and presided by Teofreda Goyone of the Food and Drug Administration.

It was also attended by Edward P. Otico of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), who flew in from Manila just for the meeting.

NNC Regional Director Carina Z. Santiago disclosed that Region VIII has a very high utilization of iodized salt in the household at 97.2%, based on the 2008 National Nutrition Survey (NNS). This means, she said, that almost all the salt in the local markets and stores are iodized. However based on the same survey it was learned that the iodine status of children and pregnant/lactating women in the region are still below optimum, she said.

This may be because of low amount of iodine in household salt, which is 7.9ppm as against the target of 15ppm. It may be the salt being shipped to the region is below the 20ppm (highest of 70ppm).

The City Health Office here in partnership with the BATF has identified several activities to respond to these findings. Among them is a friendly visit to salt traders here on September 22, and  a meeting with them to solicit their cooperation in improving quality of iodized salt coming to the region on September 29; and the conduct of a monthly monitoring/inspection of salt warehouses using the WYD Checker.

It was learned that most salt in the region comes from Mindoro, at a volume of around 18 to 20 tons per shipment, in every two months.