UNICEF Azerbaijan seeks an implementing agency for Development and Production of Communication Products within the Framework of the Universal Salt Iodization program in Azerbaijan
UNICEF Azerbaijan seeks an implementing agency for Development and Production of Communication Products within the Framework of the Universal Salt Iodization program in Azerbaijan. Deadline for proposals submission is May11, 2006. For more information please visit www.azerweb.com; www.un-az.org and www.unicef.org/azerbaijan or call (4923013), ext.105
Child mortality in Azerbaijan is the second highest in the Region. One of the underlying causes of high child mortality and morbidity is the high level of micronutrient deficiency, particularly Vitamin A, Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Iron Deficiency Anemia. Iodine deficiency is the world's greatest single cause of preventable brain damage and mental retardation. Infants and young children exposed to this type of deficiency may also suffer from psychomotor retardation and intellectual impairment. Children with insufficient iodine perform poorly in school and have reduced academic ability. It manifests itself usually as goitre but can also cause a range of physical and mental handicaps
Elimination of IDD is a global, regional and national priority of UNICEF. In Azerbaijan, elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders is a goal of the country programme of cooperation between UNICEF and the Government of Azerbaijan. The prime strategy for eliminating IDD is to fortify a commonly used daily food – salt – with potassium iodate, a strategy known as Universal Salt Iodisation (USI). The programme has so far focused on improving the capacity of salt producers, on generating public awareness of and demand for iodised salt, and on establishing the legislative and regulatory framework for USI. These efforts have succeeded in raising the consumption of iodised salt from 41, 3%1 in 2000 to 66%2 in 2005
Despite these achievements, considerable challenges to ending iodine deficiency remain.The basis of Universal Salt Iodisation is a national law, (effective as of January 2003), stipulating that import, sale and production of non-iodized salt for nutrition and fodder purposes to the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be prohibited. Despite of the presence the Law Governmental and Non- Governmental organization are regularly reporting on violations, including the presence of fake products in the market, and poor quality of iodised salt. In a situation when not all salt producers ensure that all salt is iodized and consumers may not always have a clear understanding of why they should use only iodized salt, a major communications campaign to promote consumption of iodised salt is planned. Last year, UNICEF of Azerbaijan with the Ministry of health, developed a communication strategy for increasing public awareness of Iodine Deficiency Disorders / Universal Salt Iodisation, and to increase consumer demand for properly iodized salt.
This consultancy builds on the Communication Strategy, and is aimed at generating communication products in order to generate public demand for iodised salt, motivate the private salt producers to produce correctly iodised salt, and to improve compliance with the National Law Universal Salt Iodisation UNICEF has appointed a National Ambassador for IDD elimination, young chess champion, who will lead the communication campaign.
2. Use of the consultancy by UNICEF
The consultancy will be used by UNICEF to develop a communication campaign and communication products for advocacy activities for IDD elimination, which is one of the key Country Program and Annual Work Plan goals.