2.1 mln children born with mental deficiency each year
ISLAMABAD, Mar 6 (APP): Around 2.1 million children are born each year with mental disorders in the country due to iodine deficiency in pregnant women.According to health experts, iodine deficiency in children leads to mental retardation, loss of cognitive abilities, still born, miscarriage and birth of children with congenital abnormalities like deaf, dumb and stunted.Urinary iodine test results revealed a bigger figure of about 36% of mothers and 23% of pre-school children suffering from severe iodine deficiency in the country, they added.

According to them, the utilization of iodized salt at the household level was only 17% despite 56.4% respondents were aware about iodized salt.
They said goiter rates among school age children were 4.3% in urban and 8.2% in rural areas of the country. According to national nutrition survey, the national prevalence of goiter among women was 21%, they added.
They said that iodizing edible salt was an easy and inexpensive way to provide the iodine to the children. They added still there are some problems which need to be addressed like low consumer demand, lack of quality control, absence of legislation and low production of iodized salt.
They urged institutions both public and private, individuals, parents and children to come forward and join hands for elimination of iodine deficiency disorder from the country.
They said the role of the media was important to create awareness among the people about the issue as the most common way to prevent such pervasive public health problem was salt iodization.
They suggested to have three pronged strategy to address the iodine deficiency disorders in the country included legislation for universal salt iodization, supply side interventions and demand creation activities.