Avoiding goitre

SOS FOR A BILLION: THE QUIEST FOR IODINE DEFECIENCY DISORDERS B S Hetzel and C S Pandav Oxford University Press

 
By Sharmistha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

SOS for a Billion deals with Iodine Definciency Disorders (IDD), which constitute the most common preventable cause of mental defects in the world today. But IDD can be tackled at a very modest cost remarkable success in cormany industrialised nations since the '20s.

One billion people are at risk from iodine deficiency globally. About 200 million goitre cases and 20 million empted if simple measures like providing iodised salt to the people in the affected areas, educating the susceptible communities about IDD and mobilising the salt industry and the governments to discharge their social responsibilities towards the people, are taken.

This book records the coordinated global strategy against iodine deficiency and charts the success of this programme in the past few years through the global partnership of people and govern- ments from many affected countries and key international agencies such as the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.

in the '70s, the issue of brain damage as a consequence of iodine deficiency was neglected with attention focused on goitre. In the '80s, the very fact that IDD elimination was a multi-sectoral problem was totally over-looked. The present problem rests on the sheer negligence shown by the political leaders towards this ancient scourge of humankind.

The greatest challenge lies in the developing countries, especially, in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In India, IDD is chiefly present in the Himalayan and the Sub Himalayan belt and the north-east.

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