The Iodine Blog - March 2021
Countries taking action to improve iodization programmes
The work of making sure that salt is iodized forever is continuous, and while face to face meetings are off limits in most countries, virtual progress is uplifting. Last month, IGN, together with UNICEF, developed and led country consultations for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, aimed at improving various aspects of iodization programmes.
Sri Lanka kicked off a series of national consultations in South Asia. The country has done remarkably well in the achievement of optimal iodine nutrition but wants to go yet further. On February 11, stakeholders discussed the remaining challenge and agreed on action on reaching unreached population groups in certain provinces as well as improving the quality of salt iodization and the overall sustainability of the programme.
Bangladesh is nearing enactment of an Iodized Salt bill to improve the monitoring and efficacy of its programme. Speaking at the UNICEF/IGN-hosted consultation on 14 February, the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry told participants that protecting population brain development is crucial to achieving economic progress. Development partners in Bangladesh have shown remarkable collaboration and helped focus the workshop on the key challenges. With roughly 40% of salt in Bangladesh not iodized or poorly iodized, more focus is needed on the salt supply sector and how it can improve its practices.
IGN is preparing for consultations in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the coming weeks.
IGN welcomes our new West and Central Africa Regional Coordinator Amal Tucker Brown
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Amal Tucker Brown as our new Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa. Amal is a public health nutritionist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with more than 15 years of international experience in development and emergency contexts. She has previously worked for UNICEF for 10 years in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan, Somalia, Malawi and Uganda and for NGOs (Action Against Hunger and Concern Worldwide) in DRC, Niger and Rwanda. Amal is a British born Moroccan, currently based in Morocco with her husband and young son.
Key considerations for policymakers on double-fortified salt
The success of salt iodization as a public health intervention has led to the exploration of its potential to carry additional nutrients to address critical vitamin and mineral deficiencies, in particular iron. A global consultation convened by IGN to critically analyze all the available information on has led to the publication of a brief that sets out the key considerations for policymakers.
The American Society of Nutrition has published a blog about the supplement. You can read it here
.Read the publication
We couldn’t do it without you!
We would like to thank the Giselle Foundation for joining the list of IGN supporters, and to acknowledge the contributions of all of our donors. Special thanks to a young Canadian donor who told us: “I'm an 18 year old Canadian male who lives with his parents while working full time for 15$ an hour. That may be considered poverty in Canadian standards, but in worldwide and historic standards, I am a millionaire. The Life you can Save brought me here. You all have come a long way, keep it up and finish the mission!” Every contribution truly makes a difference.