The Iodine Blog
The Iodine Global Network is delighted to launch The Iodine Blog. Here, we bring you stories from the field, where our regional and national coordinators and partners are working on the frontlines of the global fight against iodine deficiency.
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by Festo Kavishe and Vincent Assey
In Eastern & Southern Africa, countries are putting national nutrition on the agenda as an investment in economic prosperity. Universal Salt Iodization is in the vanguard. Across the diverse salt industry of Tanzania, transformation is now underway to help improve the salt supply and assure that salt contains adequate iodine.
by Nicholas Hutchings and Gregory Gerasimov
The medical and public health community of Armenia has new cause to celebrate. Recent research findings showed that, thanks to Universal Salt Iodization (USI), Armenia is protected from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), a leading cause of cognitive impairment in newborns.
On September 9, 2017, the Iodine Global Network, EUthyroid, and the European Thyroid Association (ETA) co-hosted a symposium dedicated to iodine nutrition in Europe, as part of the annual ETA meeting, in Belgrade, Serbia. The meeting was hosted by John Lazarus (Cardiff University and IGN Regional Coordinator for Western and Central Europe), and it featured iodine experts from across the continent.
A new study in the UK found concentration levels of iodine in non-dairy milks to be only 2% of levels found in cows’ milk. Researchers measured iodine content in seven milk alternative drinks: soya, almond, coconut, oat, rice, hazelnut and hemp, finding an average of only 2 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per serving.
The IGN is delighted to announce the launch of the Global Fortification Data Exchange (GFDx), a new online analysis and visualization tool for food fortification data, created in collaboration with FFI, GAIN and Micronutrient Forum.
The Iodine Global Network is working with key partners to raise the alarm to authorities and international humanitarian organizations to urgently accelerate the salt iodization program.
IGN is working with partners in Djibouti to steer a course of action toward optimal iodine nutrition through iodized salt. “Groundwater in almost all of Djibouti's territory is very salty with sodium ions,” says Mr. Kalil Sagno, Nutrition Program Manager for UNICEF Djibouti, “and may be responsible for the high levels of hypertension.”
by Gregory Gerasimov, IGN Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Following a nationwide public health campaign, iodine nutrition in Russia has been on the lips of the media, public health experts and the decision makers. At a high-level inter-agency meeting on June 21, a draft amendment was discussed to the current Federal Law.
by Jonathan Gorstein, IGN Executive Director
2016 was truly a landmark year for IGN, our partners, and the global effort to eliminate iodine deficiency. “We have conducted a remarkable breadth of work throughout the world in 2016,” says Jonathan Gorstein, IGN Executive Director. “It is truly an exciting time as we gain experience from mature Universal Salt Iodization (USI) programs to expand our suite of tools to support and sustain IDD elimination.”
The Iodine Global Network mourns the loss of Dr Basil Hetzel, world-renowned epidemiologist, and founding father of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD, now the Iodine Global Network), whose pioneering work on iodine deficiency has helped to save millions of lives.
The Swiss, Russian-born model and enterpreneur Xenia Tchoumitcheva (@xenia) has launched a two-week fundraising campaign for the IGN via the All Charities UK online platform.
The conference was co-organised by the Chinese Medical Association (Endemic Disease Branch and Endocrinology Branch), the Chinese Nutrition Society, and the China National Salt Industry, and supported by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Iodine Global Network, WHO and UNICEF.
On October 13-14, 2016, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, IGN and UNICEF held a consultative workshop for multi-sector country teams from the western part of the UNICEF CEE/CIS Region, entitled Sustainable Prevention of Iodine Deficiency and Achievement of Optimal Iodine Nutrition.
On October 6, 2016, an All-Russian campaign was launched on the prevention of iodine deficiency disorders entitled "Salt + Iodine = Saving IQ" at the national Endocrinology Research Center, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, with the IGN's support.
On Saturday 3rd September, the Iodine Global Network (Western and Central Europe) and EUthyroid held a joint satellite meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, organized as a pre-conference event of the 39th annual meeting of the European Thyroid Association (ETA). The theme was harmonisation of iodine nutrition in Europe.
On 17 March 2016, the Iodine Global Network held a Symposium on Iodine and Pregnancy for health professionals, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, UK.
In October, the Iodine Global Network held a Regional Workshop on “Achieving universal salt iodization for optimal iodine nutrition” in Bangkok, Thailand. The three-day event was organized jointly with our partners: UNICEF, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and Micronutrient Initiative (MI), and in collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Public Heath.
On September 24-25, 2015, the IGN and UNICEF held a consultative workshop for countries in the CEE/CIS (Central and Eastern Europe/ Commonwealth of Independent States) Region on "Sustainable prevention of iodine deficiency and achievement of optimal iodine nutrition" in Almaty, Kazakhstan.