Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Call for iodine nutrition across Asia-Oceania

October, 2019

The Asia-Oceania Thyroid Association urges universal salt iodization across the region, a potent advocacy tool to prevent birth defects due to iodine deficiency.

The Asia-Oceania Thyroid Association has issued a call urging governments to put in place or sustain salt iodization programs across the region in order to prevent iodine deficiency, the leading cause of mental impairment.

One of four global thyroid societies, AOTA raises a powerful voice in support of those working to advocate with governments, international organizations and civil societies, and with this statement joins the American Thyroid AssociationAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster, the Latin American Thyroid Society (LATS)Achtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster, and the European Thyroid Association Achtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fensterin their calls for universal salt iodization. (For open access versions, please see ‘Advocacy’ under the IGN Resource Package.)

Adding iodine to the salt we already eat is widely recognized as the most effective strategy for preventing iodine deficiency disorders. Universal Salt Iodization is safe, effective, and affordable, and has been recognized as the highest return-on-investment intervention in global development, returning $30 in economic productivity for every dollar spentAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster.

AOTA cited the progress the region has already seen thanks to universal salt iodization, which is already protecting the majority of school-age children in Asia and across Oceania from the devastating consequences of iodine deficiency, including permanent cognitive and developmental impairment for newborns. Even so, seven countries in the region still have insufficient iodine nutrition, and two others have excess, as AOTA cited per the Iodine Global Network scorecard.

AOTA also called for public health education campaigns regarding the risks of iodine deficiency disorders and the benefits of iodized salt use, and pledged to support this work by facilitating scientific discussion on iodine nutrition in the Asia-Oceania region.

Having such statements in support of universal salt iodization available from the world’s major thyroid societies is a powerful tool for public health advocacy. These associations include among their members the scientists and physicians who are thought leaders in thyroid health and experts in the adverse health and developmental effects of iodine deficiency. The strong support of these global experts calls attention to the critical importance of universal salt iodization for iodine deficiency prevention.

Read the AOTA’s full statement under the “Advocacy” section, “Global Thyroid Groups, Calls for Universal Salt Iodization,” here.