Iodine Global Network (IGN)

02.12.2013   IDD Newsletter 4/2013

In this issue:
  • Africa overview
  • USI and SUN
  • Harmonization
  • Ethiopia
  • Tanzania
  • South Africa
  • Nigeria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Senegal
  • Togo
  • Salt trade
  • Small producers
  • KIO3 supplies
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Communication


Iodine nutrition in Africa: where are we in 2013?

(Pieter Jooste, Maria Andersson and Vincent Assey)
Despite recent progress, 11 African countries remain iodine deficient in 2013. The largest burden of iodine deficiency is in Ethiopia, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Angola, Ghana and Mozambique...

Positioning salt iodization within SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) programs in Africa

(Greg Garrett)
The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, or SUN, is an initiative founded on the principle that all people have a basic right to good nutrition. It brings together key representatives from governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers in a collective effort to improve nutrition. Forty-three countries have now committed to the SUN movement...

Harmonization of salt iodization within nutrition programs in Africa

(Roland Kupka and Banda Ndiaye)
With their focus on a single nutrient and vehicle, as well as their specific monitoring needs, salt iodization programs have been successfully scaled up as vertical programs. But as salt iodization programs mature, they are likely to benefit from greater integration in nutrition strategies at national, regional, and global levels. In fact, this improved harmonization at different levels is already occurring in Africa...

Ethiopia: breaking through with a new iodized salt law

(Abdulaziz Adish, Tesfaye Chuko, Alem Abay, Vincent Assey and Teshome Desta)
As far back as 1988, Ethiopia was one of the first countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that was close to achieving USI, having achieved almost 80% iodized salt coverage, when most iodized salt came from Eritrea. The 1998–2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrean interrupted Ethiopia’s iodized salt supply. As a result, Ethiopia started importing salt from neighboring countries, particularly Djibouti. As a result of the interruption of the supply of iodized from Eritria, there was a rapid deterioration in the iodine status of the population...

Tanzania: marching toward sustainable IDD elimination

(Vincent Assey, Richard Mwanditani and Sabas Kimbioka)
The United Republic of Tanzania has a current estimated population of 45 million. In 1980s it was estimated that 41% of the population was at risk of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). Salt iodization was adopted with a very high political commitment in early 1990s, and the program was inaugurated in April 1994. The government’s commitment to USI continues, and Tanzania was among the first countries to join the Scaling Up of Nutrition (SUN) movement in June 2011...

South Africa: leading the way with 60 years of salt iodization

(Pieter Jooste)
South Africa historically had widespread iodine deficiency, and endemic goiter was first reported in the country in 1927. Voluntary iodization of table salt was introduced in 1954 at a level of 10-20 ppm of iodine. But for nearly four decades there was no monitoring or reporting of its effects - it could be said that the South African scientific literature was iodine deficient during this time! In the early 1990’s, a Medical Research Council (MRC) review of the availability of iodized salt in the country indicated that less than 30% of table salt was iodized, its accessibility was uneven with little iodized salt available in rural areas, and that the low socio-economic strata had poor access to iodized salt...

Nigeria: sustaining a remarkably successful USI program

(Roland Kupka, Margaret Eshiett and Venkatesh Mannar)
Historically a country with endemic iodine deficiency and a national goiter rate of 20%, Nigeria mandated in 1992 for all foodgrade salt to be iodized. With demonstrated commitments from the Government of Nigeria, the salt industry, and development partners, and subsequent refinements to its salt standards, Nigeria began to make progress towards USI. In 2005, Nigeria was the first African country to be certified as USI compliant...

Burkina Faso: ensuring adequate iodine in imported salt

(Banda Ndiaye, Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Robert Kargougou and Roland Kupka)
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country of over 16 million and an annual salt consumption estimated at about 50,000 metric tons (MT) (assuming 8g per capita daily salt consumption). About 489,000 infants are estimated to be unprotected annually against iodine deficiency. Salt consumed is mainly imported from Ghana (75%), Senegal (24%) and 1% from other countries. A number of government agencies are involved in enforcing the 2003 salt legislation that bans the distribution and import of non-iodized salt...

Souleymane Diouf: iodized salt entrepreneur

(Aynsley Morris)
Souleymane Diouf was struggling to make ends meet in Dakar, Senegal. He decided to return to his home community of Ndiémou to try his hand at salt harvesting. As an entrepreneur, he was chosen to be part of a joint Micronutrient Initiative (MI)-Cellule de la Lutte Contre la Malnutrition-Senegal Ministry of Health microenterprise project. He received guidance during the loan process to fund his idea to increase salt production and salt iodization...

Togo: renewing the commitment to eliminate IDD

(Théophile Ntambwe, Magali Romedenne, Mouawiyatou Bouraima and Roland Kupka)
The Republic of Togo is a country in West Africa with a population of approximately 6.7 million. The first systematic assessment of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), conducted in 1986, showed a mean total goiter rate (TGR) of 18.4% at the national level, with severe endemic goiter zones ( 30% TGR) in three of the four regions not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. In 1995, the first national data on salt iodization indicated that only 1% of households benefitted from iodized salt. In response, the government adopted a USI strategy in 1996...

Salt production and trade in Africa

(Venkatesh Mannar and Rizwan Yusufali)
Of around 181.5 million tons of global salt production, around 5 million tons is produced in Africa. Salt production techniques in many Sub-Saharan African countries are conventional and in some areas primitive...

Engaging small-scale salt producers

(Rebecca Spoher and Greg Garrett)
One common constraint to national USI programs is the supply of salt by scattered small-scale producers. Often small processors cannot afford inputs needed to adequately iodize their salt. And governments often do not have the resources to regulate a fragmented industry. GAIN piloted an approach to facilitate viable salt iodization among small-scale salt producers...

Sustainable supplies of potassium iodate for Africa

(Greg Garrett and Roman Prczewlofsky)
Establishing sustainable supplies of potassium iodate (KIO3) is critical for the viability of national salt iodization programs. Various approaches can be utilized which are tailored to the national context. Prices of KIO3 have fluctuated greatly over the last few years. Governments and donors continue to donate or subsidize KIO3 for numerous national programs worldwide...

Bouillon cubes carrying iodine in West Africa

(Rebecca Spohrer, Banda Ndiaye, Abdoulaye Ndiaye and Roland Kupka)
In industrialized countries, industrially-processed foods account for as much as 75% of dietary salt intake, and using iodized salt in those foods can improve population iodine status. In West Africa, processed foods are likely to provide increasing amounts of dietary salt, especially in urban areas. Furthermore, seasoning products in the form of bouillon cubes and powders are increasingly popular...

Rethinking communication for salt iodization

(Jack Bagriansky and Ruth Situma)
Reaching the remaining African households that do not yet have access to iodized salt will require new communications strategies that fit the changing USI program environment. To date, successful USI programs were mainly driven by national regulation which motivated larger producers, who usually produced refined packaged salt sold disproportionately in urban markets. These companies typically respond to national regulations and their consumers are relatively easy to reach via traditional marketing channels...