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17.02.2005 Regional News

Bawku Iodated Salt Committee Inaugurated

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Bawku (U/E), Feb. 17, GNA - A 14-member Iodated Salt Committee for the Bawku Municipal Assembly was on Monday inaugurated by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Abdul-Rahman Gumah, with a call on the security agencies to prevent non-iodated salt from entering the municipality.

The committee was charged to monitor and enforce the law on iodination and to collaborate with UNICEF to facilitate regular supply of iodated salt to dealers in the municipality. It was also charged with the responsibility to sensitise the rural dwellers on the use of iodated salt and to ensure salt dealers sell only iodated salt in the area.

Mr. Gumah in his inaugural address disclosed that a survey conducted in 2003 in the municipality indicated that only four out of 27 markets sold iodated salt and described the situation as an alarming one that should be checked.

He said the survey further revealed that less than six per cent of households in the area used iodated salt in their meals, resulting in the low intellectual capacity of children in the schools, and other iodine deficiency-related problems.

Mr. Gumah said: "The committee stands at a threshold of reversing this trend if committee members discharge their duty with diligence to ensure that the people are adequately sensitised on the harmful effects of non-iodised salt."

He pledged the Assembly's support to the committee in carrying out its task of popularising the use of iodated salt in the municipality. The Municipal Planning Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Liedis, disclosed that UNICEF had provided a 15-million cedi revolving fund to facilitate the regular supply of iodated salt in the area. He called on salt dealers in the municipality to access the fund to ensure that they provide enough iodated salt on the market to reduce the effects of non-iodised salt.

A spokesman for the committee, Miss Catherine Akanwenba, thanked the Assembly for the confidence reposed in the members and gave the assurance that they would live up to the duty assigned them.

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