Valley registers sharp dip in goiter cases
‘Pulwama kids consume non-iodised salt'
ARSHAD M BHAT
Srinagar, Dec 29: After assuming alarming proportions in 90s’, the valley has witnessed sharp decline in the number of iodine deficiency disorders among children with a fresh survey putting the prevalence of the ailment to 3.8 per cent.
“In 1995, the departments of endocrinology and biochemistry conducted a survey among 10196 children belonging to the age group from five to 15 years and found 4609 (45.20 per cent) goiter cases. But during the fresh survey in 2009, it was found that only 3.8 per cent of the school children were suffering from the ailment,” noted endocrinologist and SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, director, Dr Abdul Hamid Zargar said during a function “Eradication of Iodine Deficiency-Celebrating A Success Story” organised by the Institute’s endocrinology department.
He attributed the decline to the successful campaign, launched by the health experts for consumption of iodised salt. “After the then chief minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah issued an SRO banning the selling of non-iodised salt in the Valley in 1997, the medicos launched a vigorous campaign for promotion and subsequent consumption of iodised salt among the people, the fruitful results of which are we witnessing today,” he said.
He, however, cautioned that there were areas in certain districts of Kashmir wherein the children were still consuming non-iodised salt falling prey to the disease. “During our survey, we found that Pulwama still had large number of children suffering from iodine disorders with 6.1 per cent of them suffering from goiter, followed by 4.2 per cent in Varmul, 4 per cent in Kupwara, 3.8 per cent in Budgam and 3.1 per cent in Islamabad. He said the Srinagar district had less prevalence of goiter with only 1.8 per cent children suffering from the ailment.
He said the iodine deficiency could cause goiter, cretinism, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, birth defects, defects of speech & hearing, squint and psychomotor defects, loss of 13 IQ points leading to mental retardation adding the deficiency in adults could result in hypothyroidism, including decreased educability, apathy, and reduced work productivity, resulting in impaired social and economic development.
The organising secretary, Dr Bashir Ahmad Laway dispelled the myth that iodine was vaporized by boiling of water. “We shall ensure consumption of boiled water as it’s the only way to save oneself from the dreadful water borne disease,” Dr Bashir Ahmad told the gathering.
Dean Faculty SKIMS, Prof Imtiyaz Ali said that Jammu division had more iodine disorder cases than Kashmir and the people had less awareness about the consumption of iodised salt.
The Institute also felicitated Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar, director Dr Rafiq Masoodi, Doordarshan Kendra Jammu director Naseem Khan, director CBS Srinagar Bashir Arif and others for the role of their organizations in highlighting the importance of iodised salt in eliminating the iodine disorders.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Dec 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:00:00 IST
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