History of the first
Worldwide Service Project
A vital partner in eliminating iodine deficiency
Thanks to Kiwanis International's Worldwide Service Project, great strides have been made toward the goal of eliminating iodine deficiency worldwide. Working with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the entire Kiwanis family joined together to raise funds to help eliminate the problem of iodine deficiency by supporting salt iodization, testing and monitoring, and community outreach and education.
Members of the Kiwanis family can take great pride in their accomplishments. Today, about 70 percent of the people in the developing world have access to iodized salt, and UNICEF has hailed this project as one of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century. Through the dedication and hard work of the Kiwanis family, not only in raising money but also in raising awareness of the problem and motivating governments and industry to act, millions of children have been protected against the invisible but devastating effects of iodine deficiency.
UNICEF has reported that Kiwanis-raised funds are now at work in more than 89 nations and more than 80 million children in the developing world will be born free of iodine deficiency disorder this year. Today, the number of households estimated to be consuming iodized salt has jumped dramatically from 20 percent in 1990 to more than 70 percent. The Kiwanis family has raised more than US$80 million to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders--heralded as one of the most successful health initiatives in the world.