KARACHI: A seminar was held to create awareness among people about the importance of Iodine for a healthy life on the eve of World Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) Day here on Tuesday. The moot was organized jointly by Nutrition Support Program (NSP), Government of Sindh and UNICEF at a local Hotel. Experts shared their latest research work and emphasized the usage of iodized salt in daily routine life. According to experts, normally a person requires a teaspoon of iodine in his whole lifetime. As iodine cannot be stored for long periods by the body, tiny amounts are needed regularly. According to a survey, iodine deficiency causes increased child mortality, mental retardation, deaf & dumb, stunting, intellectual impairment (less IQ), hypothyroidism, cretinism, goiter, maternal mortality and morbidity.
The most affected population from Iodine deficiency disorders are poor classes, pregnant women and pre-school children. “Interventions to control IDD involve Universal Salt Iodization and the promotion of iodized salt consumption, which is easy, cheap and cost effective,” the experts said. According to NNS-2011 70 % of the households in Pakistan are using iodized salt. At present only 51.8% of households in Sindh are consuming iodized salt. Despite being highly prevalent, IDDs are easily preventable. Additional Secretary Health Govt of Sindh Dr. Aslam Pechuho was the chief guest on the occasion. Representatives of UNICEF Dr. Nargiza Khodjavea, Chief Field Office briefed about the overall situation of iodine deficiency in developing countries. Manager Nutrition Program Sindh Dr. Fahim Aijaz elaborated the status of USI and role of government in promotion of iodized salt.