29.03.2005 Regional News

Survey reveals low intake of iodated salt in the Western Region

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Takoradi March 29,GNA- A survey carried out by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Western Region showed a low intake of iodated salt in the Region.

Mr Winfred Wunu, Regional Nutrition Officer of the GHS, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Takoradi on Tuesday that the survey revealed that only 52 percent of households consume iodated salt. He said 88 percent of restaurants and hotels use the product and 55 per cent in local restaurants (chop bars) Mr Wunu said the survey conducted in 2003 did not changed much in 2004 and cited an assessment of household utilization of salt in the Ahanta West District where the utilization rate was 51 per cent in 2004 as against 47 per cent in 2003.

Mr Wunu said an assessment of salt sold in some selected sentinel markets indicated that about 48 per cent of salt sold in those markets were not iodated.

He attributed the low patronage of iodated salt to the cheaper price of non-iodated salt on the market.

"Ghana aims at achieving universal salt iodisation by the end of 2005 and this means that all salt meant for human and animal consumption should be adequately iodised," he said.

Mr Wunu said the consequences of iodine deficiency included goitre, growth retardation among children, loss of energy, lowered intelligent quotient, miscarriage and stillbirth.

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