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Country: Guam

Program Name: Iodine assessment in school aged children and pregnant women

Objective/Purpose(s):

  • Develop a protocol to assess the iodine status of Pacific Island nations.  
  • Implement and test the iodine survey protocol in Guam in 2012.

Background:

Iodine deficiency has been infrequently assessed in the Pacific Island nations.  Where iodine status has been assessed, iodine deficiency has usually been found to be an important public health problem in the region.  An important goal would be for all of the Pacific Island nations to import only iodized salt and attain the goal of Universal Salt Iodization (USI).  However, because the iodine status is unknown in most nations, there is hesitancy to agree to USI.  Therefore, performing iodine surveys in some Pacific Island nations may be necessary in order to advocate USI for the region

The objectives are to obtain data to:

  1. Measure the iodine status of school age children and to assess the frequency of adding salt to their food at the table.  
  2. Measure iodine status of pregnant women and to assess the frequency of adding salt to food at the table, use of salt in cooking, use of multivitamin/mineral supplements, and advice provided on salt and multivitamin/mineral use.
  3. Conduct an abbreviated market assessment of salt available in Guam and measure the iodine levels in the salt.

Potential Impact:

Results of the iodine survey will be used by the Department of Health in Guam to advocate for better iodine nutrition in Guam and by WHO to advocate for USI for the region.

 

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