To estimate household coverage of adequately iodized salt at national and sub-national level (six geographical zones stratified by rural and urban) in India.
A national and sub-national representative survey was undertaken with 42 clusters in each of the 12 strata. Twelve households were selected from each of 504 clusters. The primary respondent for the survey were females making decisions about food preparation in selected household. Samples of cooking salt were collected from all households for iodine content estimation using iodometric titration.
Total of 5717 household interviews were held and 5682 salt samples were collected. National level household coverage of iodized salt was 92%, with 78% households using adequately iodized salt (=15 ppm of iodine). Only 8% were using salt with no added iodine (<5 ppm). Adequately iodized salt coverage varied significantly across urban (86%) and rural (66%) areas. At the zonal level, the North (87.0%) and North-East (84.9%) zones reported the highest coverage, whereas the South zone (62.4%) reported the lowest coverage. Urban areas of the North (95.9%), North-east (93.5%) and Central (90.0%) zones had achieved the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) target of at least 90 percent adequately iodised salt coverage. More deprived households (based on the Multidimensional-Poverty Index score) had lower coverage of adequately iodised (70.5%) as compared to non-deprived household (80.6%).
The survey illustrates that significant progress towards USI has been achieved in India, and also provides programmatically relevant information to address observed differences in coverage by zone, residence (rural-urban) and socio-economic status.