October 21: Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day

Every year the Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day is marked on October 21. The day is also known as World Iodine Deficiency day. It is celebrated to create awareness of importance of Iodine in everyday diet. Also the day aims to bring out the necessity of iodine for the normal growth, function and development of living organisms.

Iodine deficiency in India

More than 350 million people in India are at the risk of iodine deficiency disorders. In order to overcome the risk of iodine deficiency it is important to consume iodised salt. The iodine deficiency in India is serious and Critical mainly because people do not consume sufficient amount of iodised salt.

India launched the National Goitre Control Programme in 1962 to eradicate iodine deficiency. Later in 1992 the programme was renamed as National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme. This programme focuses on iodine deficiency diseases such as physical weakness, mental retardation,  mutism, abortion, stillbirth and cretinism.

National iodine deficiency disorders Control Programme

The main objective of the program is to bring the prevalence of iodine deficiency disorders below 5% in the country. Also, it aims to ensure 100% consumption of adequate iodised salt in every household of the country.

Main objectives of the program

The program surveys magnitude of iodine deficiency disorder in the country

  • it supplies hydrated salt.
  • It monitors urinary Iodine excretion
  • it focuses on health education

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the implementing agency of the national iodine deficiency disorder Control Programme.

Achievements of the program

Under the program the food safety and Standards of sale of common salt was altered in 2011. The sale of common salt under the new rules was prohibited unless it is iodized.

Specialised laboratory in New Delhi was set up the monitor the iodine deficiency disorders in the country.

According to the national family health survey III report the consumption of iodized salt at household level was 51.1 %. This increased due to 270 1.1 percentage in 2009.

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