The household use of adequately iodized salt was low in Odisha, at 40% in 2006. UNICEF supported the Medical College and Odisha Government to engage with salt traders and community organizers, to increase demand for iodized salt, enhance its distribution and consumption.
Multiple stakeholders, including salt traders and state governmental departments that focus on prevention of iodine deficiency, child development, social welfare and education, all worked together to improve the distribution and consumption of iodized salt in government feeding programmes, and to monitor the marketing of non-iodized salt. Various outreach activities such as the Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day were implemented and efforts were made to improve awareness levels on iodized salt through schools and other platforms using information materials and salt testing kits. In addition, 98 prominent salt traders attended regional workshops focused on the sale of adequately iodized salt.
These collaborative efforts have resulted in the widespread availability of adequately iodized salt. The household use of adequately iodized salt in Odisha increased from 40% in 2006 to 86% in 2014. Consumption of crystalline non-iodized salt went down to 3.9%, which has been associated with a sharp fall in the production of non-iodized salt as reported by salt-producing Ganjam district over the last two years, due to decreased demand within its traditional market.
Engagement with salt traders, together with sustained community awareness and education programs, has led to reduced trading of non-iodized salt and increased distribution and consumption of adequately iodized salt by vulnerable households