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Open AccessArticle

Increasing Awareness and Use of Iodised Salt in a Marginalised Community Setting in North-West Pakistan

1
International Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Applied Food Safety Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
2
Abaseen Foundation, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
3
Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit (MAINN), University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
4
Department of Public Health and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE7 7XA, UK
5
School of Nursing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
6
Human Nutrition Laboratory, Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
7
Khyber Teaching Hospital, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2015, 7(11), 9672-9682; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7115490
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 13 October 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and National Strategies to Impact Health)
Iodine deficiency is still prevalent in parts of Pakistan, despite the introduction of a national Iodine Deficiency Disorder Control Programme in 1994. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding the use of iodised salt in a brick kiln community, and to use this information to design an intervention to increase its consumption. A cross-sectional survey was used to assess the use of iodised salt and focus group discussions explored the attitudes and barriers to its use. Thematically analysed transcripts informed the design of a 4-month intervention. Iodised salt sales and urine iodine concentration (UIC) were monitored to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. At baseline, 2.6% of households reported use of iodised salt and barriers included its higher cost and belief about a negative impact on reproduction. During the intervention, sales of salt labelled as iodised increased by 45%, however this was not reflected in an increase in UIC. This study highlighted the positive impact of education and awareness raising on iodised salt consumption in a hard to reach, marginalised community. However, issues regarding adequate iodisation by local producers and appropriate storage also need to be urgently addressed at a provincial level. View Full-Text
Keywords: iodine deficiency; goitre; urinary iodine concentration; community engagement; iodised salt; Pakistan; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa iodine deficiency; goitre; urinary iodine concentration; community engagement; iodised salt; Pakistan; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
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Lowe, N.; Westaway, E.; Munir, A.; Tahir, S.; Dykes, F.; Lhussier, M.; McKeown, M.; Zimmerman, M.; Andersson, M.; Stinca, S.; Zaman, M. Increasing Awareness and Use of Iodised Salt in a Marginalised Community Setting in North-West Pakistan. Nutrients 2015, 7, 9672-9682.

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