A new approach to data collection
While surveys remain the optimal way to assess population iodine status, they are costly and are no longer routinely carried out in many countries. Often these surveys provide a national estimate, but may hide inequities, either between poorer and wealthier population segments, or between geographic areas. So there is a need to find simpler, less expensive methods to make sure that iodine nutrition is adequate.
Using sentinel sites – such as antenatal care clinics or schools, can periodically provide basic coverage information on use of iodized salt and iodine status of small groups. IGN is working to modify a tool used for tracking population status and impact of flour fortification, for use in verifying that salt iodization programs are working well. We are currently testing it in a number of countries.