Islamabad - To promote importance and consumption of iodised salt, TheNetwork for Consumer Protection (TN) with the support of UNICEF organised an awareness session with female students at the Islamabad Model School for Girls G-8/4 here on Thursday.

“Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones and severe iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental deficiency in childhood,” TN experts informed students. They said that even mild hypothyroidism for a short period of time may have adverse neuro-cognitive effects in later childhood. Mild iodine deficiency can result in a significant loss in learning ability.

Thereby Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) threatens human and economic development of nations.

They said that achieving Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) throughout Pakistan was still a challenge due to lack of awareness regarding the positive health impact of iodised salt usage and the lack of demand from the consumers. Earlier TN Team trained the teachers of Women Welfare and Development Centre (WWDC) to become active advocates of Iodised Salt usage.

“I have learnt that children and young people have the ability and ideas to be able to create the changes that they want to see in society - and they actively utilise their rights to do so. Children are the young ambassadors to amplify health related messages.

Universal salt iodisation is the most effective way to ensure that every child gets enough iodine. It was made clear that iodised salt is the cheapest way - just one teaspoon of iodine consumed over the course of a lifetime can provide a high degree of protection against a range of iodine deficiency disorders,” said Rubina Bhatti, Project Coordinator TN.