Salt. I’m not sure I can come up with a more mundane substance. But did you know that a development solution with one of the highest returns on investment involves this lowly compound? According Harold Alderman of the World Bank,
“…the payback for investments in iodizing salt to return between $12 and $30 for every dollar invested.”
Why? Most of us get our daily dose of iodine through the salt we consume. Without sufficient iodine, though, a number of iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) can result, such as goiters and reduced IQ in newborns. Sadly, much of the world’s salt isn’t iodized, especially in developing nations. This leaves many of the poor suffering due to a lack of sufficient iodine. Since iodizing salt is pretty cheap, especially when compared to some of the more grandiose aid solutions out there, it produces a great deal of bang for the back.
If you want to find out more about about how the salt of the earth (literally) can be used to promote global health, investigate any of the sources below. Or just Google “salt iodization and IDD” and eat your heart out: