Sudan admits children lack iodine

Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health reports a deficit in iodine, causing many children and newborns in the country to suffer from disorders and health problems.

Sudan's Federal Ministry of Health acknowledged that there is a deficit in iodine in the country. It claimed that many children suffer from various disorders and health problems caused by iodine deficiency.

The ministry estimated the country's deficit at 22 percent. Dr Iman Salih Swar El Dahab, the official of the Unit for Combating Micronutrient Deficiency at the ministry, said that a lack of iodine in diets causes abortion, infant mortality, hearing loss, mental retardation, stunting, and lack of goiter.

During a press conference, El Dahab said that in Sudan, 242 children who suffer from iodine deficiency are born every year. Approximately 7,000 children suffer from mental retardation as a result of iodine shortages, and 2,400 children suffer from severe mental retardation. In addition, 12,0000 newborns grow up while they suffer from a moderate mental disorder.

Iodine shortages mostly prevail in the states of Darfur, where the amount of the mineral is decreased by 86 percent, according to the Health Ministry. Kosti, White Nile state, witnessed a decrease of 78 percent.

According to the UN's Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN), iodine deficiency is the world's greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage.