JEDDAH – The ministries of Education and Health have expressed concerns about the rate of iodine deficiencies amongst Saudi schoolchildren which can cause mental retardation and goiter. The ministries are now launching a campaign that will free the Kingdom’s citizens from the disease.
Under the campaign, a Ministry of Health team and directors of education will probe the rate of iodine disorders IDD among school children and discover the number of families using iodized salt.
The Administration of General Nutrition will also conduct a survey to counter the spread of this disease which causes learning disabilities and lower intellectual development. The most serious form of mental retardation from IDDO is cretinism.
A Ministry of Education circular said: “School children with IDD are not as smart or as quick to learn as healthy children thus children suffering from IDDO are likely to have lower intelligence and more learning disabilities.”
IDD still is a global health problem despite the fact that it can easily be prevented by the use of iodized salt. – SG