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20.12.2005 Regional News

Mopping up exercise on iodated salt

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Tamale, Dec 20, GNA - Salt sellers in the Tamale Metropolis have been warned that selling non-iodated salt to customers is an offence punishable by law.

Such sellers could be arraigned and face a fine of five million cedis if found guilty.

The traders were told that the use of iodated salt was a necessary measure to reduce the incidence of goitre and low intellectual capability of children, especially those living in the rural communities.

This warning was given at a joint mopping up exercise carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) at the Aboabo Market in Tamale on Tuesday.

Mr. Tibilla Moses, the Northern Regional Nutrition Officer and Secretary to the Regional Iodated Salt Committee who led the team said members of the committee would continue to monitor the situation on the ground to ensure that non-iodised salt sellers would bear the cost of unloading the salt, iodising it and re-bagging it.

He recounted the initial resistance the team encountered in the past when they wanted to undertake similar exercises and urged the salt sellers to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies by ensuring that they sold only iodated salt to costumers.

They should also educate their counterparts in the rural areas to do the same, Mr. Moses said adding: "It is for the common good of all of us".

Mr. Akurugu Gordon, an Assistant Regulatory Officer of the FDB said he was impressed with the level of iodated salt displayed in the Tamale market and urged the traders to keep up with their performance to improve upon the nutritional level of the people.

He advised the salt sellers to package their salt properly and not to expose it to the sun as the heat tended to burn out the quantity of the iodine applied to the salt within a short period. He also advised customers to always insist and verify whether or not the salt they were buying was iodated saying: "Iodine deficiency can always cause health problems for the individual".

Mr. Gordon noted that the use of iodated salt by traders in the Northern Region was more impressive compared to the Upper East Region. Dec. 20 05