|The Prevention and Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders - Nutrition policy discussion paper No. 3 (UNSSCN, 1988, 130 p.)|
This paper is the third in the ACC/SCN's State-of-the-Art series. Like the two previous papers, on nutrition education and control of vitamin A deficiency, it provides information to assist decisions on policies and programmes to prevent widespread nutritional problems. Iodine deficiency is one of these, affecting some 200 million people. Yet science and technology have provided most of the answers needed for effective programmes, especially for dealing with severe deficiency. The control methods are safe, low-cost, rely on locally available human and material resources, and are readily replicable. This document describes the problem and its prevention in terms that should help establish and expand control programmes.
The paper and following discussions are contributions of leading scientists in the field. Introductory remarks on the subject set the context. The wide spectrum of disorders resulting from severe and even mild iodine deficiency affecting very large numbers of people in the world, now known as 'iodine deficiency disorders' (IDD), are described. The social and economical benefits of IDD eradication and the contribution their prevention makes to global improvement in nutrition are stressed. Dr. Hetzel has given the necessary information on the prevention of IDD by distribution of iodized salt and iodized oil, summarizing steps to take to design and implement appropriate programmes.
Prevention of IDD is the objective of a Ten-Year UN programme -implemented by UN agencies, bilateral organizations and national governments concerned. This programme benefits greatly from scientific support and initiatives taken by the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), of which Dr. Hetzel is the Executive Director, and Dr. Stanbury (whose discussion of the paper is included) the Chairman of the Executive Committee. The ACC/SCN, through its Working Group on IDD, helps to coordinate the sustained action needed to prevent IDD's. This publication is intended to be useful to all those engaged in the campaign against iodine deficiency, thus improving health and productivity in many of the poorest regions of the world.