Children’s Fund gives UNICEF $200,000 to fight IDD in Sudan

Feb 22, 2019

The Kiwanis Children’s Fund Board of Trustees has approved a US$200,000 grant to help UNICEF fight dangerously low levels of salt iodization in Sudan. Kiwanis International has been committed to eliminating iodine deficiency disorders since 1994, when the organization approved its first global service project.

The effects of IDD can damage livesFor example, an iodine-deficient diet can lead to severely impaired mental development, robbing a child of promise and potential. However, there is an effective weapon against IDD: iodized salt.

The fight is especially urgent 
in Sudan, where 91 percent of newborns are susceptible to brain damage because their mothers haven’t been able to consume enough iodine. UNICEF estimates that one-quarter of all Sudanese children won't reach their full education potential because of IDD. And more than one in five people suffers from goiters, another common IDD side effect.

How the grant will help

How did the situation
 in Sudan become so dire? There are numerous reasons. For instance, the government did not begin requiring salt iodization until 2014, even though IDD has been recognized as a public health issue in Sudan since the 1950s. And only 11 out of 18 Sudanese states are currently enforcing a decree banning non-iodized salt. In addition, UNICEF found in 2015 that most salt-production facilities in the country needed improvements

UNICEF will use the grant money from the Children's Fund in three ways: 

  • Advocacy for national laws and standards
  • Program monitoring systems
  • Creation of a campaign to improve awareness regarding salt iodization. 

Ultimately, UNICEF believes that these measures — along with the current work of the Sudanese government and organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Program — will help create a significant increase in salt iodization.

This grant is consistent with the commitment of Kiwanis International and the Kiwanis Children’s Fund to sustainability in our IDD efforts,” said Children’s Fund President George E.H. Cadman, Q.C. 

The fight continues

The fight against iodine deficiency disorders is an ongoing one. 
Even in countries that have enjoyed great progress, sustainability is a key part of the effort for UNICEF and the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. In fact, support for the Children’s Fund has kept the effort going — bringing this life-changing initiative to more kids whose health and development depend on it. 

hat long-term success has also created a model of sustainability for The Eliminate Project. Kiwanis never stops fighting — not for the kids who need protection against IDD, and not for the mothers and babies who need protection from maternal and neonatal tetanus

“As we move forward to completion of the funding phase of The Eliminate Project, we will also address the need for sustainability of MNT initiatives. Kiwanis remains a key partner of UNICEF in advancing and maintaining 
both of these critical global initiatives focused on the health, growth and advancement of children, Cadman said.