The Iodine Blog - March 2020
Located in the Himalayan Mountain range, where iodine deficiency has long been endemic, Nepal was one of the first countries in the South Asia to recognize the magnitude of the problem and develop a comprehensive program to prevent iodine deficiency disorders. This program has evolved over the past 45 years and is now seen as one of the most successful in the world, providing a model of how to use data to refine the program design to achieve and sustain optimal iodine nutrition.
Mexico has a long history in combating iodine deficiency in its population, dating back to a Presidential Decree to iodize salt in Mexico. Despite work between the 1940s and 1960s to prevent goiter, it wasn’t until 1988 that salt iodization was established in the Regulations of the General Health Law, as well as a pilot plan for salt iodization with a salt company. In 1991 a program called the Iodized Fluoridated Salt Program ensured that iodized salt was safe for human consumption.
In November 2019, UNICEF, in partnership with IGN, NI, WHO and GAIN and with the support of the Kenyan Government, jointly supported a regional consultation on the sustainable prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders in Eastern and Southern Africa. The purpose of the meeting was to re-energize and re-focus attention on salt iodization programs in the region, and led to a high level of engagement and commitment from those in attendance.
In this blog edition we get to know Dr. Festo Kavishe, Regional Coordinator for Eastern & Southern Africa.