Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has urged the Kenya Bureau of Standards to test salt in the market to ensure it contains enough iodine.
She was speaking yesterday in Nairobi Hospital where she had thyroidectomy surgery to remove her goiter. A thyroidectomy involves surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.
“If our salt had enough iodine we would reduce the number of goiter cases. Kebs has to test all the salt and confirm the level of iodine is the required one. There is a need to balance it out,” she said.
Passaris said the goiter has been growing for 10 years. “Right now it has become more recognizable because I choke at night sometimes and find it difficult to maintain my steady breathing,” she said.
“Everybody in my family were saying that I need to go to the UK or India for the surgery but we must, as a country, have confidence in our doctors and our institutions. I met a surgeon at the Nairobi Hospital and he said he handles similar cases.”
The Woman Rep was admitted on January 5 for removal of her two thyroid glands.
She kept details of her survey confidential until she knew she was out of danger, she said.
She thanked Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wavinya Ndeti, Rachael Shebesh and all her staff and friends who visited at the hospital.
The World Health Organization has standardised iodine levels at 33 to 57mg per day. In a gazette notice of October 9, 2009, then Public Health minister amended the law to significantly reduce the levels of potassium iodate used to make iodine.
Kenya reduced the iodine levels from 168.5mg to “a minimum of 50mg and a maximum of 84mg.”