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QUETTA: Speakers at a meeting held here on Satur­day stressed the need for creating awareness about diseases caused by micronutrient deficiencies in women and children.

Coordinator of the Balochistan Nutrition Pro­­­gramme Dr Ali Nasir Bugti said that deficiency of iodine caused goiter, low IQ (intelligence quotient), abortions, still births and low energy in women and children.

He said the Balochistan Nutrition Programme was striving to address micronutrient deficiencies in women and children.

According to the national nutrition survey 2011, 29 per cent of women in Balochistan suffer from iodine deficiency whereas 35pc of children are iodine deficient.

The easy and affordable method of ending iodine deficiency in women and children is to mix iodine into salt which is used in almost all foods.

Mr Bugti assured support to all salt processors in the province in terms of training and provision of potassium iodide (iodine).

Alloudin Kakar, provincial coordinator of Micron­u­trient Initiative, informed participants of the meeting that 14 salt processors of seven districts were producing iodised salt in Balochsitan. He said 1,850 metric tonnes of iodised salt was produced in the province last year.

Micronutrient Initiative is providing potassium iodide (iodine) to salt processors on subsidised rates.

Shoukat Ali Feyrozai, additional secretary law, assured support for enactment of law to prohibiting production and sale of salt without iodine in the province.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017