Improved Learning through better Health, Nutrition and Education for the School-Age Child.
Iodine deficiency is a major public health problem for populations throughout the world. It is particularly harming for children and pregnant women. One of the most devastating outcomes of iodine deficiency is mental retardation; it is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation worldwide and this is one of the primary motivations to see its elimination. Even mild iodine deficiency can reduce learning ability and lower intelligence by about 13.5 intelligence quotient points at population level (UNICEF 2007).
Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) can be eliminated by preventive measures through supplementation and food fortification using iodine administered in salt or oil which is also a relatively inexpensive measure. WHO recommends programmes focused on salt iodization programmes to tackle global iodine deficiency worldwide.