The Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Raising awareness of iodine deficiency to raise the world's IQ

This Giving Season we are, once more, raising the awareness of iodine deficiency - the world’s leading cause of preventable brain damage in newborns.

In 2016, iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are still one of the world’s leading causes of preventable mental impairment. Our bodies need iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which are essential for the correct development of the brain.

Severe iodine deficiency may reduce a child's IQ by up to 10-15 points, resulting in poorer school performance and worse economic prospects later in life. Iodine deficiency can impair the social and economic wellbeing of entire communities.

Iodine deficiency is accelerated by geological and climactic processes, and by some farming and agricultural practices. As a result, it is not limited to developing countries or areas with poor access to a healthy, varied diet.

"It's truly tragic that iodine deficiency remains a common cause of brain damage worldwide, yet is so easy to prevent. Enough iodine is every mother's and child's right."
Michael Zimmermann, Chair, The Iodine Global Network

What are we doing to change this?

We work to support salt iodization - a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective way of improving iodine status. According to the World Bank, and the Copenhagen Consensus, probably no other technology offers as large an opportunity to improve lives at such low cost and in such a short time. Thanks to iodized salt, the number of iodine deficient countries has decreased from 110 in 1993 to only 25 in 2016.

Who is with us?

Because salt iodization is a proven, evidence-based, and cost-effective intervention, the IGN has been recognized as an outstanding giving opportunity by the charity evaluator GiveWell and Peter Singer's charity The Life You Can Save.

We collaborate with a number of like-minded individuals and groups (e.g., online donation platforms) who continue believing in our work and supporting us towards our goal.

What is our goal?

We believe in a world where every child can achieve his or her maximum intellectual and social potential. We strive to eliminate iodine deficiency and help achieve optimal iodine nutrition for all by 2020. We're motivated by our recent progress and we're thrilled with the growing support of donors around the world.

You too, can help us raise the world's IQ!

Even the smallest donation can be used in a meaningful way to support existing iodization programs, help improve them, or advocate with national governments to put iodine nutrition high on their public health agenda. All donated funds are pooled and channeled towards specific, concrete actions at the national, regional, and global level. Because we work globally, your request to use your donation in a specific country or region can usually be accommodated.

Please donate today to help us ensure that all countries achieve optimal iodine nutrition by 2020.

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