Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Thai government aims to boost iodine levels

The Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) has devised a long-term plan to tackle iodine deficiency in Thai children, an issue His Majesty the late King sought to address.

Citing the results of tests on newborn infants' thyroid-stimulating hormone, an indicator of iodine levels, DMS director-general Sukhum Karnchanapimai said iodine deficiency remains a significant health problem in Thailand.

The problem is hurting the intelligence of many children, according to Dr Sukhum.

The 2016-2021 plan for iodine deficiency control and prevention involves a push to carry out more research and monitoring of iodine deficiency by carrying out tests on food and people's urine, said the doctor.

Prior to drafting the new plan, the department has been carrying out a number of activities designed to help curb the problem, he said. One of them is the iodine deficiency screening project that has been carried out on pregnant women nationwide, he said. Another activity is a project to assess hormone levels in newborn infants, Dr Sukhum said.