Iodine deficiency negatively affects the human health as well as economic productivity and quality of life. Iodine is a trace mineral essential in making thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolism and other vital functions especially during pregnancy and infancy. The World Health Organization recommends iodization of all food-grade salt in every household and food processing as a safe and effective strategy for the prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders.
On October 20, 2016 at Dotties Place Butuan City, the National Nutrition Council Caraga Region conducted a Regional Bantay Asin Task Force Meeting to discuss measures to ensure the supply and distribution of only adequately-iodized salt is used within the region. The main objective of the meeting is to formally re-organize the Bantay Asin Task Force, whose composition and roles will be locally adapted to the needs of the region, considering the prevailing distribution and supply channels. It was attended by members of Bantay Asin Task Force from different line agencies and representatives of the local government units.
A representative from DOST-ITDI, Ms. Jose Pondevidal, Senior Science Researcher also oriented and demonstrated to the RBATF members the use of WYD Iodine Checker.
The level of Iodine in household salt should not be lower than 15ppm and salt in the market should have at least 30-70ppm level. 5 out of 8 salt samples brought by the participants have enough level of Iodine.
The reorganization of Caraga RBATF and Bantay Asin Task Force in the local government will strengthen the Asin Law, it must deepen and supported by ordinances and resolutions in the local level on proper handling, storage and iodized salt monitoring in the market and households.
Currently, some of the provinces and cities of the region are organizing and orienting their local bantay asin task force. Last December 1, 2016, NNC Caraga went to Bislig City to provide technical assistance to the CBATF of Bislig.
Authors: NO II Ivy Sheryl Sablas/NO III Leah Vina Vargas