30 per cent people in Kashmir still consume non-iodized salt: study

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Srinagar, Mar 29 (UNI) About 70 per cent people in the Kashmir valley consume iodized salt because of wide gap between demand and supply a study said.

Though the situation has improved as compared to Nineties and earlier years, about 30 per cent people in the valley still consume non-iodized salt, it said.

According to the study conducted by department of Endocrinology of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) at Soura, 45 per cent of school-going children had enlarged thyroid gland and other problems related to iodine deficiency.

It said the availability of the iodized salt is less than its demand.

Speaking at a workshop-cum-sensitisation program on National Iodine Deficiency Disorder Central Program (NIDDCP), organised by Salt Commission of India in association with directorate of health services, the director of SKIMS, Prof Abdul Hamid Zargar said the study was conducted on 11000 children from 202 villages of all the districts in the valley which shows that only 70 per cent people consume iodized salt. .

He said during Nineties the supply was many fold less then the demand. There is still a wide gap between demand and supply, he said.

He said the consumption of non-iodized salt can cause sever brain damage, which is irreversible, and affect the intelligentsia of a person. He however said efforts were on not only to cater to the present demand of salt but take care of future needs.

He said a fresh study has already been started to know the present scenario of the disease in the valley.

However, the Salt Commissioner, government of India, S Sundarshan said the iodized salt manufacturing units have to play important role to make available iodized salt to people living in far flung and remote areas of the country.

In Tamil Nadu the iodized salt was sold at Rs 2 per kg to people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) and it helped to achieve the goal, he said and urged authorities in the Jammu and Kashmir to take similar steps.


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