Household factors associated with salt iodine intake and their association with goitre among school children aged 8-10 years in Migori district, Kenya
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A cross-sectional study which was descriptive and analytical in nature was carried out between December 1996 and March 1997 to determine the household factors associated with salt iodine intake and their association with goitre among school children aged 8 to 10 years old in Migori District, Kenya. The methodologies used in data collection were administration of questionnaires and focus group discussions to verify the data collected by the questionnaire method. In addition, goitre prevalence and median urine iodine level were utilized to indicate the iodine deficiency disorder prevalence in the study area. A total of 311 school children and households were included in the study. The total goitre rate among the study children was 22 %. The median levels for both the children and maternal urinary iodine content were below the cut-off point of 10 pgjdL indicating inadequate iodine intake. All the households consumed iodated salt. However, no mother mentioned iodation of salt as a factor that influenced her salt choice during purchase. Of the salt samples analysed, 60% of the household and 60% of the retailers'samples had an iodine content of less than the stipulated levels. 60% of the households had an average daily per capita salt intake of less than 5 g. v Maternal education and socio-economic status significantly related to the children's urinary iodine level (p< 0.05). Maternal education was also shown to have a significant association with knowledge and awareness of the presence of iodated salt. There was poor salt storage and condition reported in the households and this may contribute to iodine loss. Poor salt quality such as moist salt, coarse texture and presence of impurities was also reported at the retailers' level. The study concluded that there was inadequate iodine intake in the study area as was indicated by the low median urinary iodine levels of both the children and their mothers and supported by the low salt iodine levels in both the household and retailers' level. The study recommended that stringent quali ty control measures be put into place to ensure good quali ty and, adequate and uniform salt iodation. It also recommended that education and awareness campaigns be carried out, under the auspices of some Government ministries mentioned so as to help increase the local populations knowledge and awareness of iodine deficiency disorders, their causes and prevention too.