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World Thyroid Day: Enter Layi Erogbogbo Foundation

  • advocates consumption of iodized salt

L- R Mr. Olalekan Makinde; Mr. Goriola Erogbogbo, founder, LEF; Dr. Bolanle Olajumoke Okunowo, an Endocrinologist; Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, founding patron of LEF and Mrs. Omowunmi George, Health Educationist

Nigerians have been advised to eat iodize salt to avoid thyroid diseases. This is because Iodize salt has been proven to be fortified with the required iodine that is needed daily,  according to expert.

This advice came on Thursday, May 25, when Layi Erogbgbo Foundation led Nigerians to  mark the  2017 edition of the World Thyroid Day. The Foundation joined school children from across Lagos at Oregun,  Ikeja in a programme, with the theme:  ’Check your neck, know your thyroid.’

Speaking at the event,  an Endocrinologist, Dr. Bolanle Olajumoke  Okunowo told participant that  the consumption of iodized  salt is more beneficial to health than the ordinary because of its iodine content  “so you don’t have to start looking for a particular food substance that contains iodine to eat.”

According to her, thyroid gland contribute to all the activities in the body and when it is not working well it affects different vital organs in the body thereby making it to malfunction or under function.

Dr Okunowo who is a senior registrar at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital LASUTH noted that endemic thyroid problems all over the world has been estimated  at 2.2 billion and Nigerian is one of the goitrous zones in the world, that is where endemic goiter occurs probably due to iodine deficiency.

“This iodine we are talking about is mainly from the food we eat and that’s why we are advocating for supplementation of food and it can only be done by taken iodized salt because it has already been iodized.

“What we need is a microgram in each food. Men should take between 100 to 150 microgram of iodine per day and for women it is about 220 microgram. For pregnant and lactating women it is about 290 because there is more requirements in pregnancy,” she advised.

Mr. Goriola Erogbogbo, founder of Layi Erogbogbo Foundation while speaking to journalist said: “Today is a World Thyroid Day globally and the Layi Erogbogbo Foundation stands to look at people who have thyroid issues and see how we can create awareness on the disease and intervene, help people who have developed it and treat them and also people that need surgeries too. We also go all over to tell people about the symptoms and the treatment of the disease.”

Explaining the reason behind the establishment of the foundation, Mr. Erogbogbo, said: “Over 12 years ago,  I lost my father. He had a goiter disease and he died after surgical complications of goiter. Over time, we had always wanted to do something in his name.

“Recently we discovered that the disease has become so rampant, you see people all over the place either tying something round their neck to hide the swollen neck, so I and my mother and siblings came together to start this foundation in memory of our father so that from what we suffered, we can help others stay away from it. So we dug deep into what causes it and the treatment. Our dad passed away because of the disease and we felt there’s  need to help people,” he said.

In the same vein, the patron of the foundation,  Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, said the foundation is all in the memory of her late husband who died 15 years ago.

“He went for goiter operation, the operation was successful unfortunately, he didn’t survive the post operation management by the hospital and ever since, the children have been saying we need to do something in his memory because he was such an amiable person. So Goriola being the first son, took the bull by the horn and said let’s have a foundation in memory of our Dad,” she explained.

“People need to be aware of what goiter is, the challenges around it, how it starts and that’s the essence of today. Being World Thyroid Day, we believe it is a good starting point at least to start with children; the children will be able to go back home and tell their parents and educate them better,” she said while advising that people should be mindful of what they eat.

“Taking alcohol and smoking, all these contribute to some of these deficiencies in our system. We should have enough iodine in whatever we eat so as to avoid this kind of problems,” she advised.

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