Post Mortem

Global iodine deficiency disorders prevention day

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/20/2020 12:03:28 PM IST

 (Iodine deficiency leads to permanent brain damage)

As we celebrate the Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day with the rest of the world today. This item is published to sensitize and consceintize all citizens to take forward as individual responsibility to eliminate IDDs in our state.

IDDs is a major public health problem worldwide. It is confirmed that one out of every five people in India lies in IDD endemic areas. It is estimated that 1.5 billion people in the world and over 200 million people are at risk of getting IDDs. India alone has more than 71 million people suffering from goitre and other IDDs.

 Importance of iodine:

Iodine is an essential for synthesis of two thyroid hormones namely thyroxin (T4) and tri-iodothyronin (T3) which are responsible for maintenance of normal growth and development of both brain and body. It is essential especially during the foetal stage (when the baby is in the womb). Therefore iodine deficiency during pregnancy leads to decreased synthesis of the two hormones by the foetal thyroid gland hampering normal growth and development of foetal brain and body which would limit intellectual growth in later years.

- Normal daily requirement of iodine for an individual is 100 to 150 micrograms and 200 micrograms for pregnant and lactating mother.

Source of iodine: The best sources of iodine are sea foods such as sea fish, sea salt, sea weeds, and cod liver oil. Smaller amount occur in the foods such as milk, meat, cereals and vegetables.

But as sea foods and other sea products are not freely available everywhere, the normal body requirement comes from food grown on soil with adequate iodine. Iodine deficiency is therefore geochemical in nature.

Lose of iodine from the soil: Iodine is constantly lost from the soil by process of soil erosion. The major factors responsible for iodine depletion in the soil are due to heavy rainfall/snowfall, recurrent flooding, accelerated deforestation, multiple crops, jhum cultivation, burning of forest excessive use of pesticides and chemicals.

Consequence of iodine deficiency: A number of physical and mental disorders result from iodine deficiency which affects every stage of human life – both young and adult.

1) Foetus: Abortion, stillbirth, congenital, abnormalities, increased prenatal mortality, mental retardation, deaf and dumb, paralysis, squint etc.

2) Children: Neonatal goitre, hypothyroidism, physical and mental growth    retardation, lowering of I.Q level, poor school performance and cretins.

3) Adult: Impaired mental function, low productivity goitre with its complications.

4) Livestock's:  Through research it has been confirmed that the productivity of the livestock has remarkably been reduced.

Government’s Policy: Realizing the severity of IDD problem, the Government took a policy decision to iodise the entire salt for edible purpose and instructed the States/UT’s to ban the sale of non-iodised salt. Any traders/shopkeepers found selling non-iodized salt for edible purpose are liable for prosecution under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) 1954. 

Prevention and control of IDD’s: Though the problems of iodine deficiency disorders are severe and irreversible, its control and preventive measures are very simple and cheap. We can prevent both present and future generations from the consequences of IDD’s just by consuming good quality iodised salt daily.

Importance points to remember:

1) To disseminate the information's on IDD’s.

2) To generate public demand for iodised salt from Fair   Price Shop at a subsidized rate for it is a PDS subject.

3) To stock and sell only iodised salt for human consumption. Non-iodised salt should be labeled “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”. Defaulters are punishable under the provision of PFA Act.1954 (Traders).

4) Always store iodised salt in closed container away from direct sunlight or moisture.

5) Do not keep iodised salt near or above the fire place.

6) Do not stock iodised salt for more than 6 months for in such cases the iodine content of the salt will be lost.

7) Always insist only on Iodised Salt from your shopkeeper.

It is indeed the responsibility of every citizen to put a concerted effort to fight the menace of IDD’s by disseminating the information’s on IDD’s and demanding supply of iodised salt through PDS and consumption of only good quality iodised salt for better mental health of our future generation. 

State IDD Cell, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, Kohima (

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