Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

2 December 2012

Tanzania: Iodized Salt Can Prevent Diseases

Zanzibar — MEMBERS of the Public have been advised to use iodized salt to minimize health complications including prevention of goitre as health officials appealed to the media to increase awareness.

"Iodine is an essential micro- nutrient required for the normal growth and development of human beings," said Dr Fatma Mohd Khamis, from the department of nutrition in Dar es Salaam. She made the appeal at a training workshop for reporters that focused on the importance of encouraging people to use iodized salt.

According to health experts, Iodine deficiency is a disease which is highly common in many countries all over the world. It is the primary cause of mental complications and inflammation of the thyroid gland -- goitre, which is highly common especially among women.

Iodine deficiency is traditionally identified with goitre (swelling in the middle of the neck), which at later stages can also cause abortion, sterility, mental retardation, deaf, stammering (impaired speech), short stature (dwarf), stiffness in joint movement and rickets.

"The cheapest way to have iodine is just to use iodized salt everyday since we always use salt to add favour to our foods," Fatma said, calling reporters to help in the campaign for the production of iodized salt. She said it was unfortunate that salt without iodine has been widely sold in the market and that the best way was to ask consumers to avoid the unhealthy salt.

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