alone we can do so little; togather we can do so much!!.
Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) Campaigns
Duration of the Project (Months):
Total Number of Staff-months of the Assignment:
SCAP HEAD OFFICE QUETTA
Narrative Description of the Project:
Pakistan is a severely iodine-deficient country; with over 70 per cent of the population estimated to be at risk of iodine-related disorders in 1993. Thus achieving iodization is an important part of the Society for Community Action Process’s vision to achieve good nutrition for all children. In 1994, UNICEF and its partners introduced a salt iodization project to create both a sustainable supply of iodized salt and demand amongst consumers.
The iodized salt campaign in Kalat is one of the SCAP’s chief successes. According to Balochistan MICS 2004, awareness of the need for iodized salt was only 10–19 per cent in Kalat, while actual use was under 10 per cent. The project’s baseline survey in 2004 corroborated this. In Mangocher cluster, only 3 of 1,289 households used iodized salt. Even in the more developed Kalat Saddar and Surab Saddar clusters, fewer than 5 per cent of households used iodized salt.
Reasons for low usage included:
Availability: Most salt sellers sold non-iodized salt bought from the small-scale salt processors who dominate the industry in Pakistan. Although a ban on its sale has been in effect in Balochistan since 1995, it has not been fully implemented.
Expense: Packaged iodized salt was available at several times the price of loose non-iodized salt.
Lack of awareness. The benefits of iodized salt were not known and it was widely feared to have Contraceptive properties.
To create demand, Group Facilitators were given testing kits and trained to spread awareness and dispel misconceptions among their group members, community elders, schoolteachers and religious leaders. Group Facilitators reported that learning that iodine deficiency can cause mental retardation in children was a major factor in persuading households.
The fear that iodized salt causes contraception was countered using various strategies. In some places Religious leaders were persuaded to advocate iodized salt in their weekly sermons.
Enterprising Group Facilitators offered rewards to any individual who could conclusively prove that iodized salt had contraceptive properties.
As a result of the activities demand increased dramatically. By September 2007 iodized salt usage had crossed 70 percent in Kalat and Surab clusters, and was nearly 25 per cent in Mangocher cluster. According to the project’s figures, availability increased from about 3 per cent in 2005 to 84 per cent in the three clusters’ main bazaars. It was also available in smaller shops. Kalat District declared as model district by utilization of Iodized Salt.
Main Activities conducted for Iodized Salt Mobilization:
- Consultative Meeting
- Inauguration of Iodized Salt Processor Machine
- Wall Chalking / Display Banners
- Meeting with Salt Retailers
- Survey at Market Level
- Seminar at District Level
- Quiz Competition
- Social Mobilization at School level through Teachers
- Orientation Session for Male / Female GFs 400.
- Community Groups awareness sessions
- Meetings with Religious Leaders, Union Nazims and District stakeholders.