UNICEF supports salt iodisation programme

Nii Lantey Vanderpyui,Deputy Minister of MLGRD recieving the keys to the car from Ms.Susan Namondo Ngongi,UNICEF Representative.The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), has presented a double-cabin Pick -up and three motor-bikes all valued at 75,000 dollars to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to support the government’s universal salt iodization programme. The Fund had earlier donated 10 motorbikes to the Ministry for the programme.

Presenting the vehicle, the Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi, remarked that Ghana needed more assistance to enable it succeed in its iodization effort.

According to her, the current 35,000 tonnes of iodated salt output could rise to five million, if all hands got on deck.

“The country has a huge salt potential that would not only benefit the citizenry but also the neighbours in the West African Corridor and beyond, through value addition, she emphasised.

Ms. Ngongi noted that the nutritional value of salt would not only improve the wellbeing of children but also change a whole generation adding, “the high iodated salt intake by children would help enrich the lives of generations unborn”.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, received the donation and commended UNICEF for complementing the government’s efforts at promoting iodated salt use in the country.

“ iodated salt consumption is critical for   the total development of the human body, especially the brain. It is a well known fact that iodated nutrients also facilitate the proper functioning of the thyroid gland in its metabolism process” stressed Mr. Vanderpuye.

According to him, mental retardation cretinism, goitre and risk of stillbirth, including miscarriage by pregnant women, could all be a thing of the past, if all stakeholders collaborated effectively to increase awareness of iodated salt.

“We need to increase the awareness at the production stages before it gets into the market domain”, he stressed further.

Nii Lante advocate the strict enforcement of laws on iodated salt use, to ensure that targets set by the implementing agencies are met.

He urged the transport department to adopt a strict maintenance culture, to ensure the life span of the vehicle and the bikes.

By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu.     

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