This study was designed to assess iodine levels and nutritional status of primary school children in a Nigerian community, Okpuje, using recommended quantifiable indicators. A total of 395 school children, 6-12 years (204 males and 191 females) were selected through a multistage random sampling procedure. Structured administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on socioeconomic anddietary status of respondents using 24hr dietary recall. Heights and weights of the children were measured using standard methods. The WHO Z score system was used to classify stunting, wasting and underweight among the children. Goiter was assessed clinically using the standard palpation method. Salt samples were collected from Okpuje market and pupils' homes to test for iodine content. Twenty percent sub-sample urinary iodine excretion (UIE) levels were analyzed using the Sandell-Koltholf reaction forits determination. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis. The result shows that majority of the children consumed cereals and cassava based diets for breakfast, lunch and supper. There was no child found with goiter; prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight were 19.5%, 8.9% and 8.5% respectively. Wasting was more in male children, while under weight and stunting were more in females. The median UIE was 124.7mug/L. About 96.2% of the children had UIE value consistent with adequate intake (UIE > 100mug/L). A total of 3.8% of the children had mean UIE less than 100mug/L. Iodine content of 395 home salt samples tested with spot testing kit revealed that 94.2% had iodine greater than15ppm. The entire market salt sample had iodine greater than 15ppm. The median urinary excretion of 124.7mug/L obtained for this study suggests that there no iodine deficiency in majority of the respondents and indicates that Okpuje in Nsukka LGA is in the transition phase of iodine deficiency to iodine sufficiency.
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