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New law on salt iodisation drafted in Albania

More than half the children in Albania suffer from iodine deficiency

Tirana, February 28, 2008 – A new law to improve the availability of iodised salt for consumers has been drafted in Albania.

The Albanian Ministry of Health has prepared the draft legislation and will submit it shortly to the Albanian Parliament.

“We understand the problems associated with Iodine Deficiency Disorders and the simplicity of its solution,” said Carrie Auer, UNICEF Albania Representative. “We now need to ensure that consumers buy only iodised salt.”

Available for consumers
UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health as it seeks national partnerships to make the elimination of iodine deficiencies sustainable. It aims to ensure only adequately iodised salt is available in the market and make all consumers aware of the importance of buying it. 

“The Ministry of Health is strongly committed to achieve IDD elimination by 2010,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Arben Ivanaj.

Iodine deficiency is the world’s leading cause for mental retardation. An average loss of 13.5 intelligence quotient (IQ) has been attributed to Iodine Deficiency Disorders. This impacts upon school performance for those children affected.

Iodisation is effective solution
A study conducted in 2007 by the Albanian Institute of Public Health, supported by UNICEF, showed that 55 percent of the children suffer from mild to moderate forms of IDD. This compared to 98 percent in 1993.

The problem persists as only 60 percent of the households in Albania use adequately iodised salt. A survey revealed a considerable gap in knowledge on IDD among women of reproductive age. Iodisation of all salt for human and animal consumption has been adopted as the most cost effective solution to eliminate IDD.

For further information please contact UNICEF office:
Anila Miria –Communication officer on 069 20 24 185 or
 Mariana Bukli – Health Officer on 069 20 24 186




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