Author(s): Pandav CS, Yadav K, Srivastava R, Pandav R, Karmarkar MG
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Abstract Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) constitute the single largest cause of preventable brain damage worldwide. Majority of consequences of IDD are invisible and irreversible but at the same time these are preventable. In India, the entire population is prone to IDD due to deficiency of iodine in the soil of the subcontinent and consequently the food derived from it. To combat the risk of IDD, salt is fortified with iodine. However, an estimated 350 million people do not consume adequately iodized salt and, therefore, are at risk for IDD. Of the 325 districts surveyed in India so far, 263 are IDD-endemic. The current household level iodized salt coverage in India is 91 per cent with 71 per cent households consuming adequately iodized salt. The IDD control goal in India was to reduce the prevalence of IDD below 10 per cent in the entire country by 2012. What is required is a "mission approach" with greater coordination amongst all stakeholders of IDD control efforts in India. Mainstreaming of IDD control in policy making, devising State specific action plans to control IDD, strict implementation of Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, addressing inequities in iodized salt coverage (rural-urban, socio-economic), providing iodized salt in Public Distribution System, strengthening monitoring and evaluation of IDD programme and ensuring sustainability of IDD control activities are essential to achieve sustainable elimination of IDD in India.
This article was published in Indian J Med Res
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access