Capiz was the fifth province in the country with the most iodine deficiency cases, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute survey showed.
Topping the list of provinces in the country where iodine deficiency is prevalent was Zamboanga del Norte, followed by Antique in Panay Island, Davao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Sur.
A forum on thyroidism was held at the Health Centrum and Hospital, Brgy. Banica, Roxas City on July 24, 2023, and was attended by barangay health workers, and other health personnel from the hospitals here, in relation to the International Thyroid Awareness Week celebration.
According to Dr. Teofilo San Luis, past president of Thyroid Association of the Philippines, head of the ThyroMobile Project, and representative of the Philippines to the Iodine Global Network, due to insufficiency of iodine in the body, it will result in thyroidism, or goiter, wherein most patients are women.
San Luis also warned that pregnant women must take care of themselves to avoid getting goiter because it has adverse effects on the child in her womb.
Children who lack iodine have poor intellect due to poor brain supplements, or there is a possibility of getting other ailments.
San Luis emphasized that once there is a history of thyroid cases in the family, all members of the family must have a thyroid check although it is not a communicable disease.
However, despite the patient has already recovered, there is a tendency it will recur, he said, while patients who recovered without recurrence 15 years or more are considered fully recovered,
At the press conference, San Luis was joined by Dr. Hmunich Conlu, nuclear therapist of the hospital, who conducts radioactive iodine therapy, and Dr. Abundio Balgos, chief of Health Centrum Hospital.
Insufficient salt production
Due to insufficient production of salt in the Philippines, the country is importing salt from other countries, like China, San Luis said.
Also, San Luis encouraged the public to urge the health offices in the city or province to conduct random checks of salt sold in the market, including those in the supermarkets.
The ThyroMobile Project and the Philippine Thyroid Association are lobbying Congress to craft a law mandating the local government units to provide iodine check machines in every health center so that people will be guided on the iodine content in their salt for consumption.*