Action - Nutrition International - Bangladesh - Salt iodization - All population groups

Programme: Nutrition International - Bangladesh

Programme description

We consume iodine in our foods. When plants and animals are raised in areas with iodine-deficient soil, the diet for those people will be less healthy, resulting in populations suffering from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).[1]  Iodine deficiency is a leading cause of mental impairment and therefore Iodine offers protection to the growing brain.[2]

In many middle to high income countries, the problem of iodine deficiency has largely been solved by adding iodine to salt, which then makes it into animal feed, breads, processed foods and salt shakers in homes around the world. Salt iodization is considered the most successful type of food fortification.[2] That said, in 2017, 1 billion people globally did not have access to iodized salt.[3]

Supporting efforts to achieve universal salt iodization (USI) is Nutrition International’s main strategy to help eliminate IDD. This means that all edible salt, for households, processed foods and animal salt, is adequately iodized based on how much the general population consumes. Nutrition International (NI) works in collaboration with the government of Bangladesh and partners to improve the legislative, policy and regulatory environments for salt iodization.  NI works with the salt industry to build its capacity to comply with regulations.  NI seeks to foster greater government ownership and commitment for USI programs to ensure long-term sustainability. 

The areas of NI support for Salt Iodization include:

1. Building the capacity of the government quality control authorities in effective monitoring, quality control and enforcement:

  • Helping the government in developing iodization standards harmonized with global best practices and drafting legislation and regulation for enforcement.
  • Strengthening and/or establishing quality control laboratories.
  • Facilitating the establishment of technical working groups to review progress of activities being planned by stakeholders to facilitate USI.

2. Strengthening the capacity of small and medium-scale salt producers in the:

  • Improvement of the iodization process, technology and internal quality control.
  • Establishment of a viable cost recovery system through revolving fund mechanisms. Identification of the best performing salt processors and the recognition of these processors at the national level to boost their morale and brand interest. 
  • Improvement in the industrial processes and technology including the up-gradation of salt plants.

3. Contributing to the global evidence base and to the development of global standards and guidelines

4. Advocacy and Behaviour Change Interventions rolled out in collaboration with other stakeholders including government departments

These activities are being implemented in partnership with the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation and the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorder project, Standards and Testing Institution, Bangladesh Industrial and Technical Assistance Center, Institute of Public Health Nutrition, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Institution of Nutrition and Food Science, and Salt Mill owners and processors. Iodized salt is produced sub-nationally in eight salt production zones (Dhaka, Narayanganj, Khulna, Jhalokati, Cox’s Bazaar, Patiya, Chittagong and Chandpur) which is then supplied across the country. NI began work with salt fortification in Bangladesh in the late 2000’s and work is ongoing.

Programme type



  1.  Zimmermann, M. B. (2011). Iodine deficiency disorders. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.3109
  2. WHO.Guideline: fortification of food-grade salt with iodine for the prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014. 
  3. UNICEF. (n.d.). UNICEF Data: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women. Retrieved from

For more information: 

Target group: 
All population groups

Revision log

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 18:16zillmerkpublishedpublished
Mon, 10/22/2018 - 17:01GINAadminNIAction edited by GINAadminNI.needs_review
Tue, 10/02/2018 - 16:20engesveenkEdited by GINAadminNI.published
Thu, 08/23/2018 - 23:34GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Thu, 06/14/2018 - 14:53engesveenkEdited by engesveenk.delegated
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