Monday, December 20, 2010

Iodine quantities in Malawi salt still worrying-MoH

The Malawi Government through the Principal Environmental Health Officer in the Ministry of Health (MoH), Hannah Hausi, says the levels of Iodine in the salt being used in Malawi still remains a concern despite some improvements from the past years.

She said this on Monday on the sidelines of a UNICEF funded workshop held at Mzuzu Hotel, where the ministry was reviewing the progress it has made on the monitoring of Iodine in salt sold ands used in Malawi.
"We have found that most salt, about 90%, has iodine and the monitoring is going well at grassroots levels but the issue is that the quantities of iodine in the available salt is still low," said Hausi.

Iodine is an element which is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and its deficiency can lead to goitre, various neurologic, gastrointestinal, and skin abnormalities. Iodine deficiency in pregnant or nursing mothers can lead to significant neurocognitive deficits such as Cretinism in their infants.

The workshop drew District Environmental health Officers and Safety and hygiene health officers from the ministry of health from the Northern and part of Central region. Similar review workshops are slated for the South.
Malawi does not produce salt and relies on Botswana, Kenya and Mozambique and this presents a challenge as some merchants smuggle in uniodised salt.
A visit to Mzuzu Market says it all, Lucius Mayaka sells salt but is not sure who manufactures it and says his salt has iodine because he shield it from the sun.

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