PAKISTAN'S JOURNEY TOWARDS UNIVERSAL COVERAGE OF IODISED SALT: A NON-SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Keywords:Nutrium, policy, iodine, supplementation, lower middle income country
Background: Pakistan has grappled with the challenge of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) however the country has made definite strides towards addressing it. IDD is easily prevented through consumption of adequately iodized salt. This article documents Pakistan's journey on the road to achieving universal salt iodization.
Methods: Non-systematic review of Nutrition International's (NI) internal documents, case studies and other articles was used to assimilate findings. Additionally, Situation Analysis of the Salt Sector was also undertaken.
Results: There are 1,350 salt processors producing 1.12 million tonnes of salt, of which 54% is for edible purposes and 46% for industrial purposes. Small, medium and large salt processors are categorized based on the production capacities. NNS, 2018 reported a higher household coverage of iodized salt (79.6%), while urinary iodine excretion showed that 7.3% of 6-12 year children were severely deficient in iodine.
Conclusion: As Pakistan moves ahead in its journey towards achieving USI, it is important to understand that the focus on the program will gradually shift to sustaining USI. Hence, keeping in mind all the constraints, we need to prepare ourselves for the next stage of achieving and sustaining USI.