The Little Red Dot Saving Lives in India

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ashwini Raut leads a healthy, happy life right now – she flies through her daily routine in her hometown in rural Maharashtra, India, will soon be getting married, and is planning for a family. But it was only recently that she learned her long-term health was at risk. The soil of the land Raut, 25, lives on is scarce in iodine, a key trace element required by the human body. If she doesn’t supplement her diet, she’ll be susceptible to iodine deficiency disorders, which could lead to hypothyroidism, goiter, breast cancer, and even brain damage. Her children could be born with cretinism or developmental disabilities.

Raut is far from alone. The entire Indian subcontinent is known to have iodine-deficient soil, making Indians highly susceptible to IDD, the single largest cause of preventable brain damage across the globe, according to the Indian Journal of Medical Research. The harm IDD causes can be permanent, but it’s also easily preventable with a daily dosage of 150–200 micrograms of iodine. …

Enter Grey for Good, the philanthropic arm of Singapore-based direct marketing and advertising firm Grey Group, which developed a novel idea to address the problem of iodine deficiency in India’s rural areas. Because nearly every Indian woman wears a bindi – a beauty accessory in the shape of a small dot worn in the center of the forehead – the organization decided to create iodine-coated bindis that could act as a daily supplement if worn for at least four hours.

Source: Yahoo News (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
product design, public health