Belmopan. May 7th, 2018. The Ministries of Health and Education in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Iodine Global Network, will carry out a survey to measure and report on the levels of iodine in children in Belize under a project entitled, “Caribbean Region Urinary Iodine and Sodium Study 2018”. Belize is one of the nine Caribbean countries participating in the project.
The survey will include approximately four hundred children, ages 6 to12 years, from four primary schools in the Belize, Stann Creek, and Corozal districts. Children’s height, weight, and head circumference will be measured and bodily fluid samples will be taken for laboratory test analysis.
Officials from both the Ministries of Health and Education are in communication with the selected schools, teachers, and parents on the details of the survey, including how this information will assist in future health initiatives.
The study will be conducted from May 7th to 17th, 2018 and headed by lead investigator, Professor Michael B. Zimermann, MD of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland.
Iodine is an essential mineral provided through the consumption of food. It is necessary for the functioning of the thyroid gland and brain development and is also essential during pregnancy and infancy. A deficiency in iodine can lead to mental disabilities, goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) and slow metabolism.
For more information, contact: Ms. Robyn Daly, Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health at 822-2325