Iodine Deficiency Disorders

Iodine Deficiency Disorders – The Zambian Experience

 

Chifumbe Chintu of the University of Zambia School of Medicine and Former Chariman of the National Food and Nutrition Commission and Chair of the Micronutrient Task Force, Lusaka, Zambia presented the Zambian experience with iodine deficiency disorders. His presentation was co-written by CM Lumbwe, Current Chairman of the National Food and Nutrition Commission, Team Leader IDD, Survey Team, Lusaka, Zambia.

 

The effects of iodine deficiency (IDD) are well known, however the problem still exists in many countries (Figure 8.1). IDD can cause not only goiter and cretinism, but also developmental disorders.

 

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Dr. Chintu described the situation in
Zambia where iodine deficiency was a prevalent and serious problem.

 

Zambia is landlocked (Figure 8.2). Goitres were once common and it was clear that iodine supplementation was needed (Figure 8.3).

 

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Accordingly, a survey of the problem was conducted and, as a result of the findings, legislation was enacted to ensure proper iodinization of salt (
Figure 8.4).

 

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Since then studies have been performed to examine the impact of the iodinization program. Those studies compared children before and after introduction of the program (
Figures 8.5 and 8.6).

 

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It was concluded that the introduction of iodine supplementation significantly improved the iodine content of the urine of children studied although there was still a similar number of goiters found.

 

These studies demonstrate the steps necessary to introduce iodination in countries where iodine deficiency exists and emphasize the need to evaluate new programs (Figure 8.7).

 

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