Increasing Awareness and Use of Iodised Salt in a Marginalised Community Setting in North-West Pakistan

Nicola Lowe, Elizabeth Westaway, Akhtar Munir, Saba Tahir, Fiona Dykes, Monique Lhussier, Mick McKeown, Michael Zimmerman, Maria Andersson, Sara Stinca, Mukhtiar Zaman

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Iodine deficiency is still prevalent in parts of Pakistan, despite the introduction of a national Iodine Deficiency Disorder Control Programme in 1994. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding the use of iodised salt in a brick kiln community, and to use this information to design an intervention to increase its consumption. A cross-sectional survey was used to assess the use of iodised salt and focus group discussions explored the attitudes and barriers to its use. Thematically analysed transcripts informed the design of a 4-month intervention. Iodised salt sales and urine iodine concentration (UIC) were monitored to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. At baseline, 2.6% of households reported use of iodised salt and barriers included its higher cost and belief about a negative impact on reproduction. During the intervention, sales of salt labelled as iodised increased by 45%, however this was not reflected in an increase in UIC. This study highlighted the positive impact of education and awareness raising on iodised salt consumption in a hard to reach, marginalised community. However, issues regarding adequate iodisation by local producers and appropriate storage also need to be urgently addressed at a provincial level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9672-9682
JournalNutrients
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015

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