Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent cause of brain damage. Thirty-eight million newborns are born at risk of permanent brain damage every year, due to iodine deficiency in their mothers. Iodine deficiency has been recognized as the leading cause of intellectual impairment. The good news is that this is easily preventable.
Iodine deficiency at critical stages during pregnancy and early childhood results in impaired development of the brain and consequently in impaired mental function. The problem is observed more severely in rural areas than in urban areas. These iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) can effectively and inexpensively be prevented by universal salt iodization (USI) or by iodizing all edible salt at sufficient levels.
In 1989 the Government of Bangladesh formally embraced Universal Salt Iodization (USI) as the safe, cost effective and sustainable strategy to ensure adequate iodine nutrition for the population and so to prevent and eradicate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). The government enacted the Protection Law of Disease Caused by Lack of Iodine also called “Act on the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (CIDD).” The law prohibits the production, distribution, marketing and sale of non-iodized salt, and stipulates that all salt for human consumption must contain 45–50 ppm of iodine at the time of production and not less than 20 ppm iodine at the point of retail. This will ensure a minimum of 15 ppm iodine at the household level.
Nutrition International (NI) in Bangladesh is supporting the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (CIDD) Project of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the Ministry of Industries to help achieve its goal of universal salt iodization (USI). Nutrition International’s activities include capacity building of small and medium scale salt processors to produce adequately iodized salt consistently, quality control, supportive supervision and monitoring, as well as policy advocacy at both the ground and government levels.
In 2007 NI developed the Bangladesh Salt Iodization Information System (BSIIS) and the GIS based Salt Iodization Information System (GSIIS) to effectively monitor the quantity and quality of salt iodized. In 2018 the system was integrated into a single web based database as named Bangladesh Salt Industries Information System (BSIIS).
This new integrated MIS software includes many new features which will assist field officers in tracking, monitoring and reporting. Examples of new features include: