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Prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders among Dongria Kondh Primitive Tribal Community in Niyamgiri Mountain area of Rayagada District, Orissa

Prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders among Dongria Kondh Primitive Tribal Community in Niyamgiri Mountain area of Rayagada District, Orissa,G. Bu

Prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders among Dongria Kondh Primitive Tribal Community in Niyamgiri Mountain area of Rayagada District, Orissa  
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Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) is a major public health problem in India including Orissa. Following the National IDD control program, the state of Orissa enforced universal salt iodization, under which the entire population is to receive exclusively iodized salt. No systematic survey has been carried out to assess the iodine status of tribal communities, who are the socioeconomically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable sections of the society. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the IDD in children and to assess community awareness and perception of iodized salt in Niyamgiri hill region of Rayagada district, which is the abode of Dongria Kondh, a primitive tribal group. The survey adopted the 30-cluster sampling and surveillance indicators as suggested by WHO/ UNICEF/ICCIDD consultation. A total of 623 school-age children of 6-12 years were examined clinically for goiter and iodine contents of urine and drinking water samples measured by standard methods. The total goitre rate was 24% (grade-1, 16.7%; grade-2, 6.9%), girls had significantly higher prevalence than boys. Median urinary iodine excretion level was found to be 38 mg/l, of which 51.7% and 41.9% of children respectively had urinary iodine <100 and <50 mg/l. The iodine concentrations for water samples were in the range of 1.48-2.89 ìg/l. Only, 9.9% household edible salt samples had stipulated iodine content of >15 ppm by titration method. Less than 10% of respondents interviewed had correct knowledge of the cause of goitre and use of iodized salt. The prevalence of IDD was a moderate public health problem with poor community knowledge and environmental deficiency of iodine. This indicates the need of effective monitoring and intensive IEC to ensure accessibility of quality iodized salt at affordable price in remote tribal pockets as an essential public health responsibility in attaining the goal of sustainable IDD elimination.
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