Over 100 Malaybalay women undergo thyroid, salt, urine, iodine deficiency disorder testing

Over 100 women in Malaybalay City underwent full-scale checkups, including goiter screening, blood testing for thyroid hormone levels, salt testing, and urine testing for free last October 16, 2023. The province of Bukidnon, a landlocked province in Northern Mindanao, is reportedly facing the challenge of limited access to iodine-rich foods due to its isolation from coastal areas. This puts many Bukidnon residents at risk of iodine deficiency disorder (IDD).

IDD is a condition that occurs when the body does not receive an appropriate supply of iodine, which is a leading cause of thyroid disease.

The country representative for Iodine Global Network Philippines said that “iodine is a mineral needed by thyroid hormones for the brain and central nervous system during fetal development. Thus, pregnant women must consume an adequate amount of iodine to support the stature and bone maturation processes.”

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“Promoting the importance of iodized salt in treating and avoiding thyroid disorders is a critical component of the medical mission. What is noteworthy here is how we have organized a group of local advocates to assist individuals who cannot afford surgery,” the rep said.

Meanwhile, the Bukidnon health officer underscored the importance of Republic Act 8172, known as The ASIN Law or An Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide.

A ThyroMobile, a vehicle that serves as a state-of-the-art mobile laboratory, was found during the medical mission. It focuses on communities where women of reproductive age are susceptible to thyroid-related health issues, which is in support of DOH’s Philippine Plan of Action Program for Nutrition.

Iodine deficiency could result in various abnormalities, such as goiter, hypothyroidism, miscarriage, stillbirth, and congenital anomalies like deaf-mutism, squinted eyes, cretinism, and mental retardation. (With a report from PIA Bukidnon)

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