To control the incidence of health problems resulting from iodine deficiency, health professionals have emphasized the need for effective legislation on salt iodization throughout the country. In a workshop, arranged by the NWFP Health Department and the Micronutrient Initiatives, in Peshawar on Sunday (March 29, 2009), nutritionists and doctors recommended the enforcement of legislation for Universal Salt Iodization in the country.
Iodine deficiency is quite common in Pakistan, especially in the more hilly areas of NWFP and the north, and it results in a number of physical and psychological health problems including goiter and cretinism (stunted physical and mental growth). According to WHO findings, Pakistan is one of the worst affected countries in the world with respect to iodine deficiency in people.
Regarding the Universal Salt Iodization as the simplest and easiest way for preventing iodine deficiency, the participating experts recommended the implementation of effective legislation on iodizing table salt. Suggestions for meeting this goal included licensing for processing table salt; separate processing plants for human versus industrial salt production; improved food inspection, and mass education on iodized salt etc.