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ARMM forms 'Bantay Asin' task force

HEALTH • 18:01 PM Sun Oct 19, 2014
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By: 
BPI-ARMM
ARMM Bantay Asin task force

COTABATO
CITY - The Department of Health’s Regional Nutrition Committee
(DOH-RNC) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will launch the
Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (RBATF), officials said.

andltpandgtThis
is to ensure successful implementation and monitororing of the National Salt
Iodization Program (NSIP) of the national government. During
a forum in Cotabato City, RBATF Coordinator Celia Sagaral said a regional core
team will be created to effect the implementation of the program following
positive response and support to the health program from partner agencies from
the island-provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi. There
is a need to strengthen the awareness campaign on the prevention of Iodine
Deficiency Disorders (IDD) through use and consumption of iodized salt instead
of our coarse salts,” the ARMM Bureau of Public Information quoted Sagaral as
saying.
Iodine,
a mineral that is an essential component of thyroid hormones is vital in the
development of the brain and central nervous system. Iodine deficiency results
to hypothyroidism or the common enlargement of the thyroid known as goiter.
In
the 2008 National Nutrition Survey by the Foods and Nutrition Research
Institute (FNRI), 19.7 percent of Filipino children fall low on Urinary Iodine
Excretion (UIE) level which is indicative of a public health problem.
Ironically,
ARMM ranks fifth in IDD, despite abundance in aquamarine resources such as
seaweeds and other sea foods.
The
RBATF as supported by Republic Act 8172 known as the Asin Law will reinforce
the campaign for consumers to utilize iodize salt while encouraging local
producers to include iodine in their produce,” said Sagaral.
Engaging
government line agencies - the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Science
and Technology, the Interior and Local Government, Social Welfare and
Development, Education and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) - will enable RBATF
to monitor and regulate the local supplies.
Joining
DOH-RNC in promoting iodized salt, are the health advocates from the United
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) who will provide inputs as to the qualitative
advantage of iodine-based products.
A
joint RBATF assembly is expected to formally launch and establish a fully
operational task forc to be spearheaded by the regional government and the
regional nutrition council of DOH-ARMM.

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