Iodine Global Network (IGN)


The Iodine Blog - October 2020

The Iodine Blog - October 2020

COVID-19: Early warning systems for salt production could help during pandemic and beyond

There are many ways in which production of salt can be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from disruptions in availability of supplies needed to process it, to the labour needed to manufacture and transport it, to the price of this essential commodity.

IGN has been worried about the potential impact of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and has conducted an informal survey of salt producers, potassium iodate producers and others about potential disruptions to supply. We’ve found that while production has been impacted in many countries due to lockdown, there have so far been no major disruptions in supply. However, we are seeing a decrease in inspections and monitoring, which are vital to ensuring that salt is adequately iodized.

The work that we’ve done on this issue has been featured in the latest newsletterAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster of The Life You Can Save, a nonprofit that inspires and empowers people to take action in the fight against extreme poverty. We’re planning to formalize this work into an early warning system that can alert stakeholders to potential problems, COVID-related or otherwise. With this information, we can act to support programs and prevent declines in production and coverage.

Dr. John Lazarus, IGN Regional Coordinator for Western and Central Europe, to resign at the end of 2020

After a career of some 53 years, IGN’s Regional Coordinator for Western and Central Europe will give up all of his many activities in thyroid and iodine at the end of 2020. In addition to his work with IGN, John is an Emeritus Professor of Clinical Endocrinology at Cardiff University and Chair of the UK Iodine Group. John, who is currently recovering from COVID-19, told his IGN colleagues: “It has been an immense privilege to have met and worked with you all”. The feeling is mutual! We wish him a healthy and happy retirement. Read more about John’s work and the words of his colleagues here.

New Board Members join IGN

Welcome to our new board members, Dr. Mary L'Abbé, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto; Penjani Mkambula, Global Program Lead for Food Fortification at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition; Sophia Weber, Treasurer, Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, Canada; Saskia Osendarp, Micronutrient Forum, Wageningen, Netherlands, and Rumishael Shoo, Managing Director at Afya Development Africa, Tanzania. See our full list of board members.

And in other news….

COVID-19 and Food Fortification

IGN was one of a number of contributors to an important brief on food fortification and COVID-19 issued in September. The brief recommends that actions to strengthen fortification programs be prioritized as part of global and national responses to the pandemic. Read more here.

The Lancet's Global Burden of Disease special issue

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has praised The Lancet's GBDAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster study as a great example of collaboration to improve people's health and lives. The Lancet argues that health is created from a broader prospectus that includes the quality of education, economic growth, gender equality, and migration policy. And the document also emphasizes the continuing importance of child and maternal malnutrition. We at IGN believe that ensuring optimal iodine nutrition is essential to progress.