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AIIMS finds Capital kids iodine deficient.

THE Delhi government has come up with extensive training and educational programmes in its attempt to prevent iodine deficiency disorders. But the National Capital continues to grapple with the problem that plagues its children, especially school students.

The doctors of AIIMS have written to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, pointing out a gap in demand and supply of iodised salt in Delhi, which is leading to disorders among the school children.

The project to evaluate the status of iodine deficiency in the children was assigned to AIIMS by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

" As per the World Health Organization ( WHO) standards, 100 per cent population should get a stipulated amount of iodine ( 15ppm) naturally through food or substitutes such as iodised salt. We assessed the current iodine nutrition status among the school children. Thirty schools were selected for the project and around 1,400 school children were examined," said Dr Umesh Kapil, professor of public health nutrition at Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, AIIMS. The study reveals that 13 per cent of the Capital's children are suffering from iodine deficiency while the rest are getting only the minimum amount.

" Iodine deficiency disorder is still a public health problem in Delhi. The state needs to be more vigilant on manufactures and traders selling salt," he said.

To ensure adequate availability and supply of iodised salt, the Delhi government had banned the sale of non- iodised salt for human consumption in March 1989. Besides this, the Centre also runs the National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme to tackle the problem.

" There is a need to sustain the supply of iodised salt and monitor its iodine content regularly.

The study revealed there was a need for strengthening the existing monitoring system of iodised salt's quality," Dr Kapil said.

Disorders resulting from severe iodine deficiency affect more than 400 million people in Asia alone.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Aug 16, 2013
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