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.