The Kiwanis Children’s Fund Board of Trustees has approved a US$200,000 grant to help UNICEF fight dangerously low levels of salt iodization in Sudan. Kiwanis International has been committed to eliminating iodine deficiency disorders since 1994, when the organization approved its first global service project.
The fight is especially urgent in Sudan, where 91 percent of newborns are susceptible to brain damage because their mothers haven’t been able to consume enough iodine. UNICEF estimates that one-quarter of all Sudanese children won't reach their full education potential because of IDD. And more than one in five people suffers from goiters, another common IDD side effect.
UNICEF will use the grant money from the Children's Fund in three ways:
- Advocacy for national laws and standards
- Program monitoring systems
- Creation of a campaign to improve awareness regarding salt iodization.
Ultimately, UNICEF believes that these measures — along with the current work of the Sudanese government and organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Program — will help create a significant increase in salt iodization.