Background and Objectives Iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) though largely preventable continue to be an important public health problem worldwide. IDDs have been reported from Puducherry and the surrounding States. We undertook this survey in all the four districts of the UT of Puducherry to study the prevalence of goitre in a sample of school children, to measure the level of iodine in salt samples and to determine the median urinary iodine concentration in a sample of these children so that the progress towards IDD elimination in the region can be assessed.
Methods In a cross-sectional study among 2581 school-going children in the age group of 6–12 years in the UT of Puducherry. A total of 30 clusters were selected by the PPS (Population proportion to size) method. The children were clinically examined for presence of goitre, urine samples were collected and salt samples from their kitchens were tested for iodine concentration.
Results The total goitre prevalence (TGP) was 27.5% (moderately endemic) among the children examined. The median urinary iodine concentration (MUI) was 142.9 μg/l (normal 100–199 μg/l). Only 7% of children (target <20%) showed low MUI (<100 μg/l). Iodine content was found to be adequate (>15 ppm) in over 60% (target >90%) of the salt samples.
Interpretation and Conclusions Goitre is still an important public health problem in Puducherry and as it's important for the mental development of children, the various operational factors need to be identified to strengthen the NIDDCP and improve the consumption of iodised salt.
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