KHARTOUM, (sudanow.info.sd) - The iodine deficiency disorders problem in Sudan is widespread and severe, particularly in the mountainous states of Darfur and Blue Nile State where goitre rates are as high as 87% and 75% respectively (Eltom 2001).
According to the report issued in 1997 by the Federal Ministry of Health in Sudan, 242,400 Sudanese children are born unprotected from iodine deficiency consequences each year. Among this group, 7,000 may develop cretins (3 %), 24,000 may suffer from severe mental retardation (10 %) and 210,000 newborns may grow up mildly intellectually deficient (87 %). According to the last survey, the prevalence of goitre in Sudan was 22 % (MOH IDD Survey 1997). On the basis of this figure, it is anticipated that the productivity of affected people is reduced by 5 – 25 %.
The International Council is an international non-governmental organization with official consultative status with World Health Assembly, World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNICEF Executive Board. ICCIDD is uniquely positioned to provide advocacy and support services to national efforts through its board and international professional expertise in a range of fields to the governments, agencies and non-governmental bodies in this endeavour. ICCIDD is the only organization solely dedicated to sustained elimination of IDD.
The ICCIDD within its joint project with CIDA Canada for 2012 has conducted two major training workshops in Sudan in June 2012, and participated in the USI programme launch attended by more than 15 state minister , salt industry and all international agents including WFP, WHO,UNICEF and ICCIDD MENA and Gulf.
Sudan vision has interviewed Prof Hussein Izzeldin, the ICCIDD regional coordinator who led the workshops and work plan of ICCIDD in Sudan. Dr Izzeldin Expressed his gratitude to CIDA Canada and ICCIDD for considering to support Sudan to establish proper IDD national programme and support the Universal salt iodization in the country and appreciated the work of the UNICEF, WFP and Micronutrient Initiative work in Sudan.
Dr Hussein said that the major focus in the global push to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) is the establishment of mechanisms that will sustain the universal salt iodization (USI) and IDD elimination effort in the long run. Working closely with the implementing agencies, such as UNICEF, WFP, and the MI, ICCIDD is a unique player because it focuses only on IDD elimination and has a well-established regional / national focal point infrastructure.
He Said ‘Impressive and rather rapid progress in the implementation of salt iodization programs around the world has highlighted the importance of two key issues: first, the need for effective monitoring of salt iodization processes to ensure continuous access by populations to adequate iodine through salt; and second, the need to ensure the long-term sustainability of the success achieved in controlling and eliminating IDD. In particular, ensuring sustainability requires continuous assessment of a country’s salt iodization program and the progress it has made toward achieving the IDD elimination goal. Such assessment would need to highlight the essential elements of the program if it is to function effectively and sustainably.
Dr Hussein confirmed that ICCIDD efforts would be guided by the established WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD program criteria, as detailed in ‘Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination for program sustainability (2007)’. These criteria have been established to determine whether elimination goals have been met and a series of programmatic indicators have been developed to help understand the likelihood that a program will be sustained.
Dr Husseinreporting on Sudan current IDD status said: The IDD problem in Sudan is widespread and severe. Goitre rates are as high as 87% in some regions of Sudan. Each year 242,400 Sudanese children are born unprotected from potential damage due to iodine deficiency: 7000 may become cretins (3%), 24,000 may suffer from severe mental retardation (10%) and 210,000 newborns may grow up with mild intellectual deficiency (87%).
An overall goitre prevalence of 22% (MOH IDD Survey, 1997) suggests there is an associated reduction of productivity in the affected population of between 5-25% (WFP/UNICEF/WHO/ICCIDD report – Khartoum micronutrients forum 2007). Although a salt iodization, law was issued in six states (iodizedsalt consumption is 9.3 %) (Sudan Household Survey (SHHS) 2010). He confirmed that the potential for an iodized salt solution is available in Sudan: Sudan has local salt resources to cover the national needs and export. Nearly 140,000 metric tons could be produced per annum for human consumption, and more than 90% of that salt is produced in one state, Red Sea. The ICCIDD- CIDA Workplan will help to support the ongoing efforts by Sudan Government in addressing key problems that are lowering the iodized salt coverage rate.
Dr Hussein praised the red state government and the r for their strong commitment to provide adequately iodized salt to all regions in Sudan and issuing legislation that stipulates production of only iodized salt.
ICCIDD will continue its support to Sudan by means of providing training for building capacity of the personnel working in the salt industry and Support efforts to increase the salt production rate of the salt producers.
ICCIDD also will Support the purchase of proper chemicals and lab instruments for supporting a reliable central iodine laboratory, as well as set up a proper quality control.
Mrs Salwa Sorkati the Director of the National Nutrition Programme in Sudan , Ministry of Health Sudan praised the ICCIDD role in supporting Sudan to overcome the constrains hampering the IDD elimination program and for enabling the launching of the USI in Sudan. She said we hope ICCIDD will continue its efforts beside the UNICEF, MI, and WFP to support Sudan in the coming years.
It is worth to mention that more than 100 high rank officials from government and private sector attended the training workshops and participated in drawing the national plan for action.