In the developed world we take a lot for granted, but it’s important to remember to be grateful for the little things, down to a tiny grain of salt. Processed salt has an important added ingredient – iodine – which our thyroid glands need to function properly. In Madagascar people use a locally sourced salt; creating an iodine deficiency. When we don’t get enough of this essential element the result can cause thyroid problems.
While in Madagascar this year, 41 patients have already received thyroid treatment and goiter surgery, with another 10 people scheduled before general surgeries are completed. Patients like Lalao, have come to the ship to seek help for their thyroid problems. She has lived for over 13 years with a goiter, the condition becoming so severe that she was unable to turn her head and had a difficult time breathing. She eventually lost her job due to her appearance and has been unable to support herself and her family.
Thanks to this relatively simple goiter operation Lalao has had an immediate change and is now preparing to return to her village and show off her new look and restored health to her family! Today Lalao is extremely grateful for her free surgery that was provided by Mercy Ships and her restored health is something that surely won’t be taken with a grain of salt.