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Evaluation report

2002 TIM: Report of the Rapid Assessment on Salt Situation in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, 18-25 June 2002



Author: Sunawang

Executive summary

Background

Before the independence in 1999, the coverage of iodized salt consumption is 70% with a wide range from 6% in Liquica and 100% in Manufahi. Almost all districts in this new Republic are categorized as iodine deficient areas. With the exception of Aileu district, all 12 districts have prevalence of TGR ( Total Goitre Rate) among primary school children exceeding 5%, the WHO/UNICEF/ICC-IDD epidemiological criteria for a mild IDD area. However, 7 out of these 13 districts have TGR prevalence of 20% or above, hence this country is classified as having moderate and severe IDD areas.

Purpose / Objective

The aim of this trip was to rapidly assess the current situation of the salt and salt iodation supply in view of accelerating the achievement of USI in this new republic.

Methodology

The method of this assessment was a direct observation to the field with particular focus on importers cum grocers, market places, kiosks and household kitchens. Official visits were done to government offices like trade and custom. The field observation also included border trading at two junctions in Salele, Suai and Mota-ain in Bobonaro. Total 9 out of 13 districts were covered during this rapid assessment.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The production of local salt during this transition time has doubled to about 40% of the total salt demand in the country. The scarcity of imported salt at the beginning of this independence era has pushed up the production of local salt.

Local salt is marketed only to the surrounding sub-districts and is cheaper compared to imported table salt. In places far from the local salt producers, people did not recognize local salt. Both local and imported salt are given to cattle. Demand for cattle is estimated at about 30% of the total demand for salt in the country.

The majority of salt supply or 60% of the total salt is imported from Surabaya under two brand names: KAPAL and KUDA. There is limited amount of salt imported from Australia ( SAXA) which is un-iodized and consumed mostly by foreigners in Dili.

Knowledge on iodized salt is still limited. The coverage of iodized salt at household level is estimated at about 50% at the moment.

Recommendations

The recommended strategy is to focus on three major activities:
- Development of legislation to prevent the importation of non-iodized salt and the control system to enforce it
- To iodize all local salt production
- Communication campaign to promote iodized salt



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Report information

Date:
2002

Region:
EAPRO

Country:
Timor Leste

Type:
Survey

Theme:
Health - Micronutrients IDD

Partners:

PIDB:
YI201

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
2002/004

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