Leading endocrinologists of Kashmir Valley have strongly recommended that the government must screen pregnant women and newborn children for hypothyroidism in the state to protect the next generation from developmental and physical morbidities associated with the congenital disorder. “Thyroid has become one of the common ailments across Kashmir with over 30 percent people diagnosed with Thyroid disorders including subclinical hypothyroidism. We must gear up for mass awareness and mass screening of pregnant ladies and newborn babies so that we save our next generation,” a known Endocrinologist of Valley Dr. Ashraf Ganai said while addressing post graduate students and medical practitioners at a conference here. In his talk ‘Effects of Hypothyroidism on pregnancy’, Dr Ganai emphasized the need to raise awareness about its rising incidence and explained that the thyroid gland is a major gland in the endocrine system and affects nearly every organ in the body. The conference was organised by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar in collaboration with Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Srinagar (SOGS) under the aegis of FOGSI. Even though such mandatory screening is recognised worldwide as the most efficacious intervention for treatment of conditions related to the working of the thyroid gland, it continues to be a low-priority in Jammu and Kashmir, the speakers rued. Another endocrinologist Dr. Shariq Masoodi said women constitute over 80 percent of the patients with thyroid-related conditions. He urged pregnant women in particular to have their diagnostic test done to prevent permanent damage to the child’s brain due to the mother suffering from hypothyroidism. He called for statewide study to ascertain the incidence of thyroid-related conditions stating that whenever a local study is conducted less percentage of population is found to be affected; yet such studies are hypothetical and cannot be generalized. “More than 40 % of the patients may not have been diagnosed, which makes it essential to gather nationally representative data,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch