Assessment of Iodine Deficiency in Pregnant Women in Swaziland

  • S.M. Lwenje Chemistry Department, University of Swaziland, P/Bag 4, Kwaluseni, Swaziland.
  • V.S.B. Mtetwa Chemistry Department, University of Swaziland, P/Bag 4, Kwaluseni, Swaziland.
  • Sebenzile Ginindza Mbabane Public health Unit, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, P O Box 1119, Mbabane, Swaziland.


One hundred and sixty five pregnant women aged between 14 years and 42 years from the four physiographic regions of Swaziland were palpated for goitre, gave urine samples for urinary iodine determination and gave information on the quantity of salt consumed per month. It is estimated that iodine intake from salt is between 113 to 225 mg per day assuming salt iodization levels of 20 to 40 mg iodine per gram of salt. The median urinary iodine concentration in each of the four physiographic regions was found to be: Lubombo 429 mg/L, Lowveld 274 mg/L, Middleveld 316 mg/L and Highveld 265 mg/L. In all the regions the percentage of samples with urinary iodine below 100 mg/L was less than 20% and the percentage with urinary iodine below 50 mg/L was less than 10% indicating that the women in this study from all the regions are not at risk of iodine deficiency disorders. The total goitre rate in the Highveld and Middleveld was unusually high at 30%. This high value has been attributed to a residual effect from the time before the introduction of universal salt iodization.

UNISWA Research Journal of Agriculture, Science and Technology Vol. 4 (2) 2000: pp 119-123

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eISSN: 1029-9645