Dáil Éireann - Volume 562 - 25 February, 2003

Written Answers - Iodine Tablets.

  369. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the subsequent take-up of potassium iodate tablets from all of the health boards in relation to the distribution and availability of potassium iodate tablets which were distributed to each household in a six tablet pack which was insufficient for households in excess of three adults. [5231/03]

  Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As part of the review of the national nuclear emergency plan it was decided that stocks of iodine tablets should be purchased and pre-distributed to households throughout the country. During the months of June and July 2002 a packet containing six potassium iodate tablets, BP 85mg was to be delivered to each household which is sufficient to provide a single dose for each member of an average sized household. Approximately 2.1 million packets of tablets, 12.6 million tablets, were distributed to households nationwide via the postal distribution.

  Following the postal distribution my Department distributed the remaining tablets, approximately 1.6 million, to the health boards for persons who did not receive a supply of tablets or who did not receive a sufficient number of tablets via the postal distribution. A public notice was placed in national newspapers on Monday, 21 October 2002 advising such persons to contact their local health board to arrange for the collection of the additional tablets required. Contact details for each health board were included in the notice.

  Information provided by the health boards regarding the take-up of iodine tablets is as follows:[267]

Health Board

Take-up of tablets

Eastern Regional Health Authority

2,400*

Midland

  174

Mid-Western

1,278

North-Eastern

  726

North-Western

  942

South-Eastern

  696

Southern

1,554

Western

  954

  *This figure is only in respect of the East Coast Area Health Board. Information concerning the Northern Area Health Board and the South-Western Area Health Board will be provided to the Deputy as soon as it is received.