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Increased use of Iodized salt noted in EV(Nov. 10, 2003, Monday)
(By Ligaya B. Anacta-Acosta - DOH)

The department of Health recently conducted a two-day consultative-workshop on the Salt-Iodization Program, which was attended by Provincial and City Nutrition Coordinators, Sanitary Engineers, Sanitarians, and Food and Drug Regulation Officers, from the six provinces and four cities in the region.

Each province and city presented their respective program accomplishments which showed a much higher iodized salt utilization rate in the region, as compared to last year.

Per report gathered from the participants, as of September this year, 2,829 salt testing were made all throughout Leyte and Samar.  Out of these, 2,663 or 94.13% were found positive for iodine.  Last year (2002), market to market self-testing revealed only 48% positive for iodine.

The significant increase may be attributed to close monitoring be health personnel in partnership with Food and Drug Regulation Officers of the Department of Health, who have been vigilant in monitoring activities, particularly with salt traders and manufacturers.

Aside from reporting accomplishments, the participants were also give updates on the Food Fortification Program.  Issues and problems in implementation were also discussed and resolved.

Outputs of the two-day workshop were action plans for each province and city, which will guide them in the implementation of the Salt Iodization and Food Fortification Program in 2004.

Iodine is a mineral and component of the thyroid hormones that control body processes like the normal development and function of the brain nervous system; growth of children; the process by which the body uses energy and keeps warm; and control the rate at which every cell in the body uses oxygen. 

Aside from iodized salt; iodine can be obtained from eating seafoods like dilis, pusit, alamang, talaba, tahong, halaan, hipon, crab and seaweeds.

PNP appeals for drug rehab center (Nov. 10, 2003, Monday)
(By Miriam G. Desacada - LSDE St aff Writer)

TACLOBAN CITY  The Philippine National Police here has reiterated its appeal to all concerned government agencies to help them provide a rehabilitation center to save drug dependents in the region under the drug rehabilitation program.

The launching campaign on Nov. 6 of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force (RAIDSOTF, Police Deputy Director General Edgardo Aglipay, PRO-8 Police Regional Chief, Chief Supt. Dionisio Coloma Jr., reported before the barangay captains in the city, barangay tanods, police officials, local chief executives from the different municipalities of Leyte and other non-government organizations on the status of the illegal drug trade in the region from the month of June until October this year.

Coloma said that during this period they were able to reduce from 85 to 90 percent in terms of proliferation of illegal drugs all over Eastern Visayas.

Based on the validation of the RAIDSOTF, he revealed that from 2,171 drug personalities which composed of 1,111 users, 1,046 pushers and 14 financiers they were able to neutralized it down to 999 users, 965 pushers and 12 financiers.

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