LAHORE, March 14: Parliamentary Health Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi says the provincial government is considering legislation on the compulsory iodisation of edible salt to control its deficiency in people.At a media dissemination workshop on Monday by the Micronutrient Initiative, Health Directorate, Mr Elahi said he would ask the Law Department to see whether the clause of compulsory iodisation of edible salt could be incorporated in the Punjab Pure Food Rules (Amendment) Bill, 2007, which has been approved by the cabinet.
Dr Elahi praised Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Health Department, the World Food Programme and the Micronutrient Initiative for ensuring the easy access of iodised salt to 90 million people of Punjab.
He said the tremendous achievement would help children perform better in schools as their intelligent quotient would increase with the consumption of iodised salt. The continuous use of iodised salt among pregnant women could help control birth of cretins, deaf and dumb children.
Punjab Director Health Services Dr Anwar Janjua said more than 264,000 metric tons of edible salt had been iodised in 2010-11 and 13 metric tons of potassium iodate had also been provided to salt processors on subsidised rates.
He said 2,600 medical officers, 2,100 lady health supervisors, 1,550 sanitary inspectors and 1,600 school health and nutrition supervisors were trained to raise awareness among the people about iodine deficiency disorders and its control through a regular consumption of iodized salt.
More than 1,000 salt processors have been trained on methods and techniques of salt iodisation to maintain quality and standard of iodisation.
Dr Janjua said free iodisation equipment (drip feed sets) were provided to all salt processors. — Staff Reporter