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Non-iodised salt, dangerous to health, NAFDAC warns Ebonyi people

By The Citizen
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The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Ebonyi residents against the consumption of non-iodised salt.

Mr Richard Anichukwu, Head, Ebonyi NAFDAC Office, gave the warning on Friday at Amachi Development Centre of Abakaliki Local Government Area, during a Grassroots Enlightenment Programme.

Various communities in Ebonyi produce non-iodised salt in large quantity which is mostly consumed by the people in its non-refined form.

Anichukwu noted that consumption of non-iodised salt has several health hazards which include: goiter, liver complications, among others.

'You should disregard the notion that non-iodised salt is good for womb cleansing, as it instead contains high concentration of iodine that damages the foetus,' he said.

According to him, the people should use only iodised salt in small packages of between 250grammes and 500 grammes and not the non-iodised ones normally in big bags but meant for industrial purposes.

'You should also use salt that is packaged for domestic consumption and not those that are normally spread on open spaces and sold in various quantities.

'Spreading salt on open space allows its refined iodine content to evaporate, making it lose its nutritional value,' he said.

He remarked that NAFDAC embarked on grassroots enlightenment of the populace to educate it on its activities which is facilitated through its Desk Offices in various areas, community leaders among others.

'We are particularly concerned about the peoples' careless purchase and consumption of drugs or unregulated products and their failure to report violators who aid and abate faking and counterfeiting of drugs.

'The people are advised to only purchase and consume drugs or products with NAFDAC certification while rejecting and reporting fake or counterfeits products and their dealers,' he said.

Anichukwu noted that the agency presently clamps down on manufacturers of drugs and other consumables who use their homes and other unauthorised areas to manufacture fake products.

'They have now relocated to China and other industrialised countries as the people should seek the authenticity of imported products they use.

'One veritable way of checking this is through the agency's scratch and text system where users scratch the enclosed lid on products and send the content to the agency, to verify the product's authenticity,' he said.

Mrs Celestina Uburu, Acting Coordinator of the Centre, thanked NAFDAC for the programme and noted that the people will be adequately informed on the need to be cautious of the products they consume.

'We would encourage them to make use of the health centers in the area and big hospitals in the city, instead of patronising quacks who sell fake products in chemists,' she said.

Nkashi Nwokocha, Traditional Ruler of Amachi Community said that traditional rulers as custodians of the people's culture, will also be involved in propagating the message against the use of fake drugs and products.