Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Village of "idiots"?

Interesting BBC article discussing a small isolated hill village in India where one quarter of people are mentally or physically disabled.

Poverty and bad diet, probably...but why did it start in the 1950's?
the article suspects iodine deficiency caused by the Cassava diet.
Most rely on a diet of rice and cassava, known locally as nasi tiwul. But certain substances in cassava can inhibit the uptake of iodine, which in turn can lead to birth defects.

Iodine deficiency
  • The WHO estimates that more than 30% of the world's population have insufficient iodine intake
  • Since the 1990s there have been efforts to introduce iodised salt in iodine-deficient countries
  • UNICEF estimates that 50 million people worldwide live with intellectual, motor and hearing disabilities due to iodine deficiency

And the good news is that the rate of birth defects is down with some help with food and a local midwife who monitors diet.\

cases like Campret's have sharpened Mulyadi's resolve to prevent more children being born with disabilities. That's why he's taken it on himself to monitor every pregnancy in the village, especially those of women who are disabled, encouraging them to eat a healthy diet with plenty of green vegetables.
And for those who can't get to the local hospital, which is 45 minutes away, or who can't afford a scan, he will offer to take them in his car and pay.
Within the village, there is also now a health centre with a midwife and a doctor. The result is encouraging, says Mulyadi. "In the last few years there haven't been any babies born with birth defects."
you know, when I worked in rural Africa, the students got supplements in school and most of the women got prenatal care and vitamins, so most were ok in the IQ area.

But when I worked in Liberia, I was almost in despair with the local's low IQ's, including many of the staff.

They ate cassava and rice in Liberia, so maybe that was an iodine problem too. Or else because few women breast fed (leading to a very high infant mortality).

Which of course shows the problem with Eugenics (including it's newer versions of "no immigrants"): IQ in the world is going up with good nutrition.

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