By Gabriel Olawale
The Executive Director of Thyroidism Awareness and Support Initiative, TASI, Mrs. Iruoma Ofortube has urged Nigerians to prioritise intake of iodine-rich foods as part of measures to prevent thyroid disorders.
Ofortube, a survivor of thyroid disorders said despite thyroid disorders being a major public health problem worldwide and rated the second most common endocrine disease, it was not receiving the level of attention it deserved.
“There is a need for development of policies to prioritise thyroid disorder as one of the primary health issues. The need for diagnostic facilities and training of medical specialists on the treatment modalities is crucial,” she stated.
Speaking during a walk to commemorate the 2018 World Thyroid Day organised by TASI in partnership with the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, she said the thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ at the base of the neck, tasked with production of hormones that affect every cell, organ, and tissue in the body.
“Thyroid hormones regulate the body metabolism, the rate at which the body produces nutrients and oxygen as they affect critical body conditions such as energy level and heart rate.
Thyroid disease affects females (60 per cent) more than males (40 per cent). Research has shown that about 750 million people are affected by various kinds of thyroid disorders.