Iodine Global Network (IGN)

01.05.2007   IDD Newsletter 2/2007

In this Issue:
  • Iodine and growth
  • Darfur
  • Haiti
  • WHA
  • Georgia
  • IDD debate in 1932
  • Ghana
  • Small-scale salt producers
  • Meetings and Announcements
  • Abstracts


Correcting iodine deficiency improves growth in children

(Michael Zimmermann)
A recent multicenter study clearly demonstrates that iodine repletion in children improves growth. Because over 285 million schoolage children worldwide are iodinedeficient, these findings underscore the importance of global efforts to eradicate IDDin this age group ...

Iodized salt offers a glimmer of hope for Darfur refugees

(Daniel Lantum)
The conflict in Darfur has generated 2.5 million refugees; many have fled to camps ineastern Chad. Getting high-quality iodized salt to these camps is an important part of relief efforts. The UN World Food Program (WFP), based in the Central African Region, has been active in supplying food relief to eastern Chad and toSudanese refugees living in the massive camps.These camps are now filled to overflowing and calling for more international food aid. In May 2007, a top United Nations official warned that security had deteriorated to a point where delivering humanitarian aid had become “a nightmare” ...

An IDD advocacy mission to Haiti

(Lucie Bohac)
Haiti is among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Only 2.4% of households have access to adequately iodized salt. Seven million people are at risk of IDD and each year 25,000 newborns are unprotected from brain damage caused by iodine deficiency ...

The 2007 World Health Assembly strengthens call for mandatory reporting of iodine nutrition by Member States

The 60th World Health Assembly unanimously passed a resolution reinforcing the call for mandatory reporting on achievement of USI and elimination of IDD. The ICCIDD delegation to the 2007 WHA consisted of the Chair, Gerard Burrow, the Executive Director, David Haxton, Jack Ling and the Regional Coordinator for Latin America, Eduardo Pretell, supported by UNICEF. They were able to convince the WHA to repeat its call, first made in 2005 at the 58th WHA, for Member States to accelerate efforts to achieve IDD eliminationand to report at 3 year intervals on their progress ...

Elimination of iodine deficiencyin the Republic of Georgia

(Zurab Sehnishvili, Parmi Sudchev, Gregory Gerasimov)
Georgia, a country of 4 million inhabitants, is situated in the south Caucasus bordering Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) were endemic inthe Republic of Georgia secondary to low iodine levels in the water and soil.Cases of giant goiter and cretinism were described in the book “Goiter in Svanetia” (the historical region of Georgia) published in the beginning of the last century. Anendemic goiter control program was implemented in Georgia, then arepublic of the former USSR, in 1955-1986, including salt iodizationand distribution of iodine tablets to vulnerable groups ...

Volunteering in Ghana: a new ICCIDD Member’s perspective

(Marla Barkoff)
“…when I watched my team members travel into the village equipped with questionnaires I had helped compile, urine vials I had cleaned, and knowledge of the importance of iodine I had taught – for me it was a proud moment.” “How can I help?” I asked Jack Lingon a February morning in 2006. With a background of medical research in Africa and a future in endocrinology, I had become increasingly fascinated but also disturbed by the current state of IDD control ...

Supporting small scale saltproducers is essential forachieving USI

(David Haxton and Venkatesh Mannar)
The strategies of the 1990s have brought us to an unprecedented level of salt iodization, availability and household access in many countries. Although significant success has been achieved, more effort is required to reach the goal of universal salt iodization (USI). This is especially important since the population with little (or no) market access to iodized salt may be in greatest need for protection against IDD. In many countries, the ability to produce and market iodized salt profitably by smalland some medium-scale salt producers continues to pose the main challenge to achieving USI. Thus, the strategies used to achieve the current near 70% level of household access to iodized salt worldwide may not necessarily reach the remaining 30% of the population ...

Classic Papers

The 1932 International Conference on Endemic Goiter and Cretinism

At this groundbreaking meeting, leading scientists vigorously debated the cause of goiter and cretinism. Goiter is ascribed to a variety of causes, including parasites, drinking water and toxins. However, many participants correctly identifed the causeas iodine deficiency and advocate iodine prophylaxis on a national scale ...