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Esther Passaris undergoes surgery at Nairobi Hospital.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has urged Kebs to test salt in the market and ensure it has enough iodine.

Passaris, who has goiter, spoke at Nairobi Hospital yesterday, where she had a thyroidectomy.

A thyroidectomy is an operation that involves the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.

"If our salt had enough iodine we would reduce the number of goiter cases. Kebs has to test all the salt and confirm that levels of iodine are the required ones. There is a need to balance it out," she said.

Passaris said she has had goiter for 10 years.

"Right now it has become more recognisable because I choke at night sometimes and find it difficult to maintain my steady breath," she said.

"Everybody in my family was saying that I need to go to the UK, India for the surgery but we as a country must have confidence in our doctors and our institutions. I met a surgeon at the Nairobi Hospital and he said he does operate similar cases."

The woman rep was admitted to Nairobi Hospital on January 5 where she had her two thyroid glands removed successfully.

"Initially we thought we would remove the thyroid that had the goiter, but the doctor observed me and noticed that the other thyroid was not in a good condition and so they removed both of them," she said

"As we speak now, I have no thyroid left or right, both are goneI will be on thyroxine medication for the rest of my life to do the work that the thyroid does."

Passaris said she kept details of her thyroidectomy under wraps until she knew she was out of danger.

"I thank God for faith that reassured me that my work is not yet complete. I remain eager to learn and serve Him with humility," she said.

Passaris thanked her friends, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper member Wavinya Ndeti, Youth CAS Rachael Shebesh, her staff and friends who visited her in hospital.

World Health Organisation has standardised iodine levels at between 33 - 67mg.

In a Gazette notice of October 9, 2009 the then Minister for Public Health amended the law to significantly reduce the levels of potassium iodate used to make iodine.

Kenya reduced the iodine levels from 168.5mg to 'a minimum of 50mg and a maximum of 84mg.'

According to Mayo clinic, goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck.

Although goiter is usually painless, an enlarged thyroid gland can cause coughing and make it difficult to swallow or breathe.

The most common cause of goiter worldwide is lack of iodine in the diet.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Jan 13, 2019
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