DOH, NNC call for community support on goiter awareness drive

By Anne Hazel F. Flores

SAN FERNANDO CITY (PIA) – The regional offices of the Department of Health (DOH) and National Nutrition Council (NNC) here called for the support of the community in the observance of Goiter Awareness Week this January.

As the lead agencies tasked to disseminate the ill effects, prevention, and signs and symptoms of goiter or bosyo in Filipino, representatives discussed the Goiter Awareness Week drive during the Kapihan sa Ilocos of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) regional office, here.

“We are here to solicit for your support to create awareness on the fight against goiter and other manifestations of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), our department with the NNC cannot do this alone,” said David Zaragoza, health education and promotions officer of DOH-1.
“There is a need for our partners and stakeholders to also disseminate the information and educate our citizens about its effects. Those afflicted with it must also fo necessary measures for its immediate cure,” he added.

Deficiency of iodine in the body can cause harm, especially to pregnant women and may cause low intellect, premature birth, or worse, miscarriage.

It was learned that the signs and symptoms of a goiter include: tiredness, a decrease in weight and low appetite, depression, dryness of skin and hair, sleepiness and slow bowel movement.
Zaragoza advised that people who experience these symptoms should immediately see a doctor.
To fight the disease, individuals are encouraged to use iodized salt in preparing their meals and food that are rich in iodine such as dairy products, seafood (shellfish and seaweeds), meats, bread and eggs.

Meanwhile, Kendall Gatan of NNC-1 said the awareness observance is also aligned with the strict implementation of the Salt Iodization Nationwide Law or ASIN Law which was passed into law in 1995 promoting the use of iodized salt to address the lack of micronutrients in the country. It also requires all salt manufacturers to iodize the salts they produce and distribute.
Goiter Awareness Week is observed every 4th week of January of every year declared under Presidential Proclamation 1188 on December 11, 2006.

This year’s theme is “Goiter Sugpuin, Isip Patalinuhin, Iodized Salt Gamitin,” to be conducted from January 21 to 27. (Anne Hazel F. Flores/PIA-1)