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50% rural Indians unaware of iodized salt: Survey

Dr Vinod Paul
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Dr Vinod Paul releasing India Iodine Survey 2018-19 in New Delhi

BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI:
A recent survey has found that 50 per cent rural Indians still do not know about iodized salt as awareness about it is at 62.2 per cent in urban areas and 50.5 per cent in rural areas.

The India Iodine Survey 2018-19 was conducted by Nutrition International, a global nutrition organisation, in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

The survey covered all 29 states and seven Union Territories of the country, and included a total of 21,406 households.

Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland are front-runners with more than 99 per cent of households having access to adequately iodized salt, the survey said.

The  survey revealed that 76.3 per cent of Indian households consume adequately iodized salt, meaning salt with more than or equal to 15 ppm of iodine.

It also said that 13 out of 36 states have already achieved Universal Salt Iodization (USI) with more than 90 per cent of households having access to adequately iodized salt.

Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health and Nutrition), NITI Aayog, said India Iodine Survey 2018-19 comes at a crucial time when the entire country is celebrating 'Poshan Maah'.

"The survey is a very good effort to scientifically estimate the progress so far and we need to accelerate progress in states that are facing challenges. I would be happy to organize a meeting of the stakeholders and the states at the NITI Aayog to take this discussion forward and devise a strategy to achieve USI by 2022," Dr Paul said.

WHO guidelines say that daily iodine intake of 150 microgram is required to prevent iodine deficiency disorders and this can be achieved by using adequately iodized salt, i.e. salt containing a minimum of 15 parts per million (ppm) of iodine.


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