Availability of adequately iodised salt at household level and its associated factors in Robe town, Bale Zone, South East Ethiopia: community-based crosssectional study
Background: Iodine is a micronutrient required by the body in small amounts to prevent iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), which
is a global public health concern. There were no specific data at household level of adequately iodised salt in the study area.
Thus this study aimed to assess availability of adequately iodised salt and its associated factors at household level in Bale-
Robe, South East Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Robe town, Bale Zone, South East Ethiopia in April 2015.
Data were collected through interviewer-administered questionnaires from a total of 367 households, which were identified
through systematic random sampling. Salt iodine content was estimated using rapid testing kits at the household level.
Descriptive statistics was used to determine the prevalence, and association between dependent and independent variables
was computed by using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression. A p-value of < 0.05 was used to determine statistical
Results: Of 374 samples, 370 respondents were interviewed yielding a response rate of 99%. One-third (32.7%) of the household
levels used adequately iodised salt. Respondents’ educational status, exposure to information on how to handle iodised salt and
type of salt used by the respondents were independent factors for availability of adequately iodised salt at the household level.
Salt that had been stored in a dry place was twice as likely to have an adequate iodine content compared with salt stored in a
high-moisture area or near a fire (AOR = 2.13, CI = 1.19–3.72).
Conclusion: Availability of adequately iodised salt at the household level was very low. Factors that were associated with
household levels’ access to adequately iodised salt included educational level, age of the respondents and place where salt
is stored, and had an effect on whether households iodise salt adequately. Strategies to educate residents regarding the
appropriate storage conditions to minimise iodine losses in iodised salt are required in Bale-Robe district of South East Ethiopia.
The SAJCN does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.