DOH, city government step up implementation of ASIN law PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 17:29

The Department of Health (DOH) in cooperation with the City Government has stepped up the implementation of the ASIN law, a nationwide edict that mandates the use of iodized salt in Zamboanga City as a way of eradicating iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).

The DOH-led Technical Working Group (TWG) on National Salt Iodization Program (NSIP) arrived in the city yesterday to observe and visit salt producing areas, processing plants, rural health units, barangay health stations and public markets including sellers of iodized salt, health worker, nutrition workers and households and determine whether or not they are aware of its benefits and uses.

DOH Assistant Secretary Bernardita Flores said using iodized salt is very vital to one’s health “not just because there is a law but because iodine-deficiency disorder is one of our major nutritional problems”.

The ASIN law or Republic Act 8172 is an act promoting salt iodization nationwide.

IDD result to mental retardation, goiter (enlarged thyroid), physical sluggishness, growth retardation, reproductive failure, childhood mortality and other defects in the development of the nervous system.

“We have been bringing the technical group which is composed of many government agencies and non-government organizations including international organizations such as UNICEF, IDD-ICC as well as salt industry partners around the country so we are able to see actually what the situation is on the ground”, ASEC Flores, who is the National Nutrition Council executive director, said.

Flores and the members of the TWG, accompanied by City Health Officer Rodelin Agbulos and staff yesterday paid a courtesy visit on Mayor Celso Lobregat in City Hall before visiting public markets and other establishments.

The DOH official admitted that Zamboanga Peninsula registered a high prevalence of iodine deficiency disorders may be due to terrain or geographical location.

On the other hand, Flores said Zamboanga City and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula region is treated as a very peaceful area where nutrition programs are successfully implemented.

She observed that nutrition programs are effectively and efficiently implemented even in municipalities and barangays that are less accessible. “Zamboanga City is a champion in [the implementation of] nutrition programs and even municipalities you have winners.”

“We always initiative programs here and these programs can succeed with very little intervention from the national government but with full support from locl government units and other agencies in the area. We are thankful that for the longest time we have been seeing many LGUs as well as programs that are succeeding in Zamboanga Peninsula and Zamboanga City”, the DOH official added. — Sheila Covarrubias