Iodine deficiency serious cause for concern in DhungachalnaIodine deficiency is a major public health concern in Dhungachalna, a remote village in Achham district, where most families consume non-iodised salt because they come cheaper than a packet of iodised salt.
Iodine deficiency is a major public health concern in Dhungachalna, a remote village in Achham district, where most families consume non-iodised salt because they come cheaper than a packet of iodised salt.
According to the District Health Office, the village already has a fair share of population with medical conditions that are associated with iodine deficiency, including mental and physical development disabilities.
“The villagers are risking their own and their children’s health to save a few rupees,” said health official Bhuminanda Dhungana.A packet of iodised salt costs upto Rs 40 in this remote part of the district while non-iodised salt is available at Rs 20 per kilogram.
The villagers say when for the price of a kilogram of iodised salt they can buy double the amount of non-iodised salt, why would they pay more for less.They make no distinction between iodised and non-iodised salt. Their level of awareness about importance of iodine in their food is very low. “Too expensive,” said Juna BK, a local woman.
“I have had the same kind of salt all my life,” said another Matu BK. Health officials say though they have been encouraging the villagers to use iodised salt, the price factor has been the deciding factor when people buy salt.
Lowering the price of iodised salt is one way to reduce the risk of iodine deficiency led health problems in the village.Mane Saud, a local government representative, said they will soon start making efforts to set up a depot of Salt Trading Corporation in Dhungachalna, so that its residents can get iodised salt at a far more lower price than the present one.