Iodine is a nutrient needed by the human body in small quantities but plays an important role in the process of thyroid hormone synthesis in the thyroid gland. This hormone is responsible for the growth, development and control of the metabolic process of the human body at all ages. In fact, iodine needs increase as soon as you become pregnant. Iodine is important in the formation of the fetal brain, especially for brain development and nerve function as well as to prevent pregnant women from the problem of goiter and hypothyroidism.
Universal Salt Iodization (USI) is a key strategy proposed by WHO, UNICEF and ICCIDD (2007) in eliminating iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) at the population level. It is implemented by adding iodine to the salts sold and marketed to the community as a whole. Accordingly, in November 2018, the whole of Malaysia has been gazetted to use iodine salt mandatory for household use and will take effect from 30 September 2020.
Household salt is chosen as a medium to implement the process of iodization because:
- Basic food ingredients used by almost every layer of society regardless of economic status.
- The cost of salt iodization is lower than the cost of other food fortifications.
- The addition of iodine does not give any change in appearance, taste and smell when used in cooking.
This salt iodine has also taken into account Malaysia’s salt reduction strategy, which is to recommend the use of iodine salt not exceeding 5 grams (1 teaspoon) per day in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The objective of the Universal Salt Codification Program or known as USI is to control and prevent iodine deficiency disorder (Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), especially among vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children.
ACTIVITY THAT IS BEING HELD
- Advocacy to manufacturers, retailers and consumers regarding the proper use and storage of iodine salts at every level.
- Conduct training to health personnel, enforcement and other relevant agencies.
- Carry out enforcement at the entrance, factory and domestic levels.
- Carry out monitoring of iodine concentration levels in urine and salts among pregnant women and school children
Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the USI program to see the effectiveness and impact on community health.
Guidelines and Manuals
- Guidelines for the Implementation of the Universal Salt Iodization Program in Malaysia (Universal Salt Iodization, USI)
- Universal Salt Iodization Program Implementation Training Module in Malaysia (Universal Salt Iodization, USI)
- What Is Beriodine Salt?
- Beriodine Salt Handling by Beriodine Salt Manufacturers and Sellers Video
- Beriodine Salt Handling by Beriodine Salt Users Video
- What Is Iodine?
- What Is Beriodine Salt?
- The Importance of Iodine to Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
Nur Amalina Muhamad