Assessment of Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) in Womberma and Burie Districts, West Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

Assessment of Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) in Womberma and Burie Districts, West Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

The objective of this study is to assess the situation of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) by conducting clinical examination for goiter, urinary iodide level determination, assessment of goiterogenic factors and availability of iodated salt, and knowledge, attitude and practices of the communities towards iodated salt in the area.

Cross-sectional, community based study was conducted to assess magnitude and causes of goiter in Womberma and Burie districts, West Gojjam, Amhara Regional state. Clinical examination for goiter was conducted in children age 6-12 years (N = 513) and biological mother of the children age 15 – 49 months (N = 375) from randomly selected 400 households in 10 randomly selected villages of the Woredas. Besides conducting household interviews, urine samples were collected from children for urinary iodine determination.

The study reveals that total goiter prevalence rate of 54% with 36.5% palpable and 17.5% visible goiter in children. It is found that female children are affected more than male children. The results also show that maternal goiter rate is 30.1% with 16% palpable and 14.1% visible. The goiter rate is more pronounced in younger age groups of women than their old counterpart. Median Urinary Iodine excretion level in children is 0.5µg/dl indicating low level of iodine intake in the area. Goiter rate in children with UIE category < 2µg/dl (severe) is 64% while between 2 µg/dl – 4.9µg/dl (moderate) is 19.4%. Only 2.2% of the children have UIE level >10µg/dl, indicating adequate intake of iodine.

The study concludes that:

  • according to WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD guidelines, goiter and IDD are endemic and severe in the study area
  • the area is severely affected by iodine deficiency
  • some food sources such as roots and tubers are found to contain goiterogenic factors that aggravate iodine deficiency problems when consumed unprocessed
  • distribution and use of iodised salt is very rare in the area and only few people have knowledge of iodised salt

In order to reverse the grave consequence of the problem, the study proposes the following recommendations:

  • immediate distribution of iodated salt or iodised oil capsule through establishing sustainable source and distribution of iodised salt in the area
  • immediate action in prohibiting direct application of pesticide and banned pesticides on food crops through collaboration of sectorial governmental bodies
  • creating awareness on adverse effects of IDD, benefit of iodised salt, and how to use iodised salt in food preparation so that the community will raise the issue of right to iodated salt and seek their own solution