Title : Public Private Partnership PPP in Health and Nutrition A Case Study of Iodine Deficiency Disorders in India
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Iodine Deficiency in foetal life and early childhood remains the single most important and preventable cause of mental retardation, globally. Even mild iodine deficiency can prevent children from attaining their full intellectual and physical potential Sustainable elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) is directly linked to economic growth. The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score of children living in an ‘Iodine Deficient’ environment is nearly 13.5 IQ points less than those living in iodine sufficient environments. Each individual consumes, on an average, 12 grams of salt per day. Salt is therefore fortified with Iodine under the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program to address Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in the country. Since the implementation of the USI in India, salt iodization has achieved remarkable success. As of now, iodized salt reaches 92.4% of the population in the country (India Iodine Survey, 2018 – 2019). Universal Salt Iodization (USI) is one of the most successful public health interventions. It has been credited with the elimination of IDD in the world.
Public - Private Partnership (PPP) Model - It refers to any arrangement between the government and the private sector for the common good of the people. Whilst the public sector is seen as representing a pool of resources to the delivery of key public services, the private sector is regarded for its ability to harness its expertise in realizing substantial incremental values of those resources. The public sector’s potential will not be fully realized without the private sector. Private sector’s participation can expand opportunities with new and innovative approaches, and better business and management expertise. The benefits of working with the private sector include improved access and reach, better efficiency, opportunity to regulate and establish accountability, improve quality, and practice rationale. Given the respective strengths and weaknesses, neither the public sector nor private sector alone is in the best interest of any program, including the sustainable Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program. There are very few examples of Public Private Partnerships in the field of health and nutrition in India. Of the few, none are as large-scale and significant as in the case of the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program.
The farming, processing, packaging, and marketing of salt in India is largely in the hands of private entrepreneurs. More than 95% of the salt production in the country is handled by the private sector. In such a situation, effective and sustainable elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) will only be possible if the public sector, and the private sector collaborate in perfect harmony to develop, produce, and promote the daily use of adequately iodized salt. The public sector, which has the mandate and responsibility to improve the health and nutrition of the population, and the private sector, which has experience and expertise in food production and marketing, are clearly two very important pillars. As a result of their synergy, success has been achieved and we are all befitting from it. Over the years, surveys have shown that there has been admirable achievement towards sustainable elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). From the various national surveys such as the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) (2016-18), and the India Iodine Survey (IIS) (2018-19), one can see that the cooperation from salt industry is one of the key factors in achieving high coverage of adequately iodized salt in India today.