State Coalition for Sustained Adequate Iodine Intake launched in Andhra Pradesh
By Sunil Verma
Hyderabad 29 May 2006: At a glittering ceremony organized by the Department of Civil Supplies and Health & Family Welfare in collaboration with UNICEF, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y S Raja Sekhara Reddy announced the launch of the State Coalition on Sustained Adequate Intake of Iodine in the state. Minister for Finance, Health & Family Welfare Mr. K Rosaiah, President State Commission, Justice I Venkata Ramana, Commissioner and Ex Officio Secretary, Food & Civil Supplies, Mr. Banwarlal, and UNICEF representative for AP and Karnataka, Mr. Michel Saint-Lot also attended the launch function.
“I congratulate UNICEF for spearheading the initiative for universal iodisation of salt in our state,” said the Chief Minister. He directed the Civil Supplies department to make iodised salt available through the Public Distribution Network across the state by September, this year. “You need to work on reducing the price of the iodised salt so that the same can be made available at Rs. 4 a Kg.”, hOne third of the children in the state are malnourishede said. Dr. Reddy released the State Action Plan and unveiled the laminated copy of the ban notification by GOI on Sale of Non Iodised salt for direct human consumption.
In his keynote address, Mr. Michel Saint-Lot, State Representative of UNICEF pointed out that only 38% of households consume adequately iodized salt and only 25% of the State needs of iodised salt are covered by the Public distribution system.
The current situation calls for a multi dimensional action in increasing production, increasing availability at affordable prices, creating demand and monitoring the enforcement of laws. The State Coalition plans to address these multiple issues for sustained adequate intake of iodine.
The Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Mr. Rosaiah released the IEC materials to be used to promote iodized salt in the state. These include school kits for distribution amongst school children and danglers to be displayed at the public distribution outlets.
The Coalition aims to support public information on benefits of iodised salt and support implementation of plans along the lines of the National Coalition. The State Coalition also has the task of monitoring and making recommendations to the government on manufacture and consumption of iodised salt.