Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Challenge Ahead: Iodized Salt on Every Table for Ever. (Round Table Discussion)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Challenge Ahead: Iodized Salt on Every Table for Ever. (Round Table Discussion)

Article excerpt

The history of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) is a remarkable example of what a nongovernmental organization with relatively small financial resources can do. With an overarching strategy and extensive network of members all over the world, it was able to mobilize international agencies and national government for IDD elimination. This success of the ICCIDD is also a personal accomplishment of its founder and former leader, Basil Hetzel. The Council showed itself especially efficient in advocacy: the goal of IDD elimination was accepted by the World Summit for Children in 1990 which was attended by 71 Heads of State, who signed a declaration on the provision of new goals for improved health and education for all children. By the end of 1999, more than 70% of the households in the world were using iodized salt, compared with possibly only 20% in 1990.

However, new challenges are ahead for the ICCIDD and its partners in the Global Network for Sustainable IDD Elimination founded in 2001. While progress has been impressive, and many nations have achieved high salt iodization coverage, in 36 countries less than half of the population uses iodized salt. In countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States less than 25% of households consume iodized salt and iodine deficiency remains a public health problem. In these countries the full implications of iodine deficiency and its impact on human development have not been fully appreciated and the ICCIDD, with other members of the Network, must continue the advocacy process. …

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