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Government and UNICEF launch new mass campaign to improve iodine nutrition of Ghanaians

 ACCRA, Ghana, 10 October 2013 - The Government of Ghana with the support of UNICEF is launching a mass social mobilisation campaign to increase the number of households consuming adequately iodised salt today.

“Over 80 per cent of Ghanaians have heard about iodised salt but less than one half of this number know its benefits and therefore hardly demand it,” said UNICEF Representative, Susan Namondo Ngongi. 

“The goal of this new campaign is to get more people to consume iodised salt,” she said.

UNICEF is committing one million US dollars over a five year period to support the Government of Ghana to improve household consumption of adequately iodised salt. UNICEF’s support will extend nationally through mass media campaigns with specific community mobilisation interventions and activations.

“Nearly twenty years since the Government of Ghana established the salt iodisation law, only one third of households in Ghana consume adequately iodised salt. The World Health Organisation recommends that to prevent iodine deficiency disorders, at least ninety per cent of households should consume iodised salt,” said Honourable Sherry Ayittey the Minister of Health adding that “a diet poor in iodine nutrition is known to cause a wide range of disorders including preventable mental retardation, poor pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth and miscarriages, deaf-mutism, poor eye hand coordination and reduced intelligence quotient.” 

According to the Director General, Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, “Consumption of iodised salt has been of immense benefit since its introduction in the early nineties. An impact study conducted in Bongo and Jirapa indicated a 20 per cent reduction of goitre in these iodine deficient endemic districts in Ghana.”

The focus of this new support is to bridge the information gap, access and consumption of iodised salt between urban and rural communities, as well as salt producing and non-salt producing communities. Under the strategic leadership of the National and District Salt Iodization Committees, UNICEF will also support the implementation of national strategies with the objective of increasing household access and demand for adequately iodised salt. 

USI resolution Resolution on consumption of iodised salt

Signed by 10 administrative heads from salt producing districts.

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