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I/salt not alloted for 2yrs: F&CS
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, AUG 10 (NPN):
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Published on 11 Aug. 2010 12:03 AM IST
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Directorate of Food & Civil Supplies (F&CS) Nagaland Dimapur Tuesday revealed that there had been no arrival of centrally allotted iodized salt (i/salt) to Nagaland for two years due to non-appointment of state stockist.
An overview presented by F&CS joint director, Apokla Jamir at state level consultative-cum-sensitization meeting on Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) at Hotel Tragopan, Dimapur stated that there was no supply to department due to non-appointment of state stockist of i/salt in view of circumstance that people preferred to buy “superior quality” of i/salt available in the market. Pointing out that the salt available in the market was only open sale of “free trade”, she however said Railway Receipt (RR) was countersigned by department as salt was one of the items of essential commodities.
Department also reported that out of seven rakes which were received in 2008-09, only two rakes arrived to department as the people preferred market quality. Jamir also gave a summary on the official procedure of procurement and distribution of i/salt which involves state stockists’ collaboration with central salt commissioner, railway authorities, F&CS director, and quality verification of consignment by responsible medical authority at Dimapur.
Gracing the occasion as chief guest, state Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) principal director, Dr. V. Sekhose lauded the National Iodine Deficiency Diseases Control Programme (NIDDCP) on completion of its survey in the state and undertaking its resurvey, and urged the state unit to coordinate with responsible departments. He said that deficiency of iodine was causing alarming damage to lives, and lamented that people still tended to take the subject matter lightly. Dr. Sekhose called upon responsible stakeholders, departments and agencies who were directly involved in the process of procurement, transportation and storage of i/salt to ensure that healthy and iodized products reached each household in the state. He also urged the NIDDCP, H&FW and F&CS departments to allocate specific manpower to check irregularities and to be more dedicated and sincere in their efforts in implementing the programme. Further the chief guest said it was a feat to have brought down IDD rates in the state during recent years.
Meanwhile, NIDDCP programme officer and deputy director, Dr. N. Meren presented an outline of NIDDCP and gave a brief report on its survey in the state. He stated that national survey showed 71 million people in India suffered from goitre and other IDDs. The scenario in Nagaland, as per survey conducted recently in 11 districts, 49 IDD cases were reportedly detected and Phek district rated the highest with 29 cases. According to NIDDCP survey, 85% of households in the state used iodized salt, however it pointed out that areas of concern with regard to IDDs in Nagaland still existed, which included heavy rainfall causing soil erosion resulting in loss of iodine from biomass; jhum cultivation and traditional practice of burning forests causing iodine depletion from soil; sale of non-iodized and cheaper salt in rural areas; and non-availability of iodized salt in FPS at government subsidized rate. While urging traders to label salt meant for farm/animal use as “not for human consumption”, Dr. Meren also apprised participants on proper storage of salt in the household, trucks, railway wagons and godowns.
Earlier in the programme, CMO Dimapur Dr. K. Solo delivered the welcome speech while District Hospital Dimapur (DHD) junior specialist Dr. Banuo spoke on ‘iodine and mental health’ and DHD assistant MS Dr. Tosole proposed vote of thanks. It may be mentioned that according to official estimation, one out of every five people in India lives in IDD endemic areas, with the most affected areas lying in sub-Himalayan belt from Jammu & Kashmir to north east including Nagaland, covering an area of 2500 sq.kms. The disorders caused by lack of iodine in diet include simple goiter, mental retardation, speech and hearing defect, squint, difficulties in standing and walking normally and stunted growth.
The programme has been organized by directorate of health and family welfare (H&FW) IDD & nutrition cell Nagaland.

 
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