Progress towards eliminating iodine deficiency in South Africa

P. Jooste, M.B. Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Before the introduction of salt iodisation in 1954, South Africa was one of the many countries of the world with a lack of iodine in most of its territory and hence there was a need for a salt iodisation programme. The understanding of the iodine situation in South Africa, the basics of iodine nutrition and progress toward eliminating iodine deficiency internationally and in South Africa are reviewed in this paper. Voluntary salt iodisation in the country at 10¿20 ppm introduced in 1954 failed to eliminate endemic goitre and iodine deficiency. In contrast, considerable progress has been achieved in South Africa in eliminating iodine deficiency by introducing mandatory iodisation of table salt at 40¿60 ppm in 1995. A 1998 survey showed that optimal iodine nutrition was achieved nationally and in seven of the nine provinces, with more than adequate iodine intake in two provinces. At that time, 86.4% of households used iodised salt and 62.4% used adequately iodised salt that contained more than 15 ppm of iodine, with low coverage rates (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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