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DHANVANTARI ORATION Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 455-468
Successful efforts toward elimination iodine deficiency disorders in India


Department of Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Umesh Kapil
Professor Public Health Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.74339

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Iodine deficiency (ID) is the world's single most important preventable cause of brain damage and mental retardation. Iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) is a public health problem in 130 countries, affecting 13% of the world population. The simplest solution to prevent the IDD is to consume iodized common salt every day. In India, significant progress has been achieved toward elimination of IDD, in the last 30 years. Satisfactory levels of urinary iodine excretion and iodine content of salt have been documented by the research surveys conducted by research scientists. The results indicate that we are progressing toward elimination of IDD. IDD is due to a nutritional deficiency, which is prima­rily that of iodine, in soil and water. IDD is known to re-appear if the IDD Control Program is not sustained. To ensure that the population continues to have intake of adequate amount of iodine, there is a need of i) periodic surveys to assess the magnitude of the IDD with respect to impact of iodized salt (IS) intervention; ii) strengthening the health and nutrition education activities to create demand for IS and iii) development of a monitoring information system (MIS) for ensuring that the adequately IS is available to the beneficiaries.


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