PRETELL RECEIVES SPAIN'S QUEEN SOFIA PRIZE
In a ceremony in Madrid, Queen Sofia of Spain awarded the prize bearing her name to Dr. Eduardo Pretell, ICCIDD Regional Coordinator for the Americas. A jury under the Queen's patronage selects from a list of international nominees a recipient who has made the greatest contribution to the prevention of deficiencies. Dr. Pretell was cited for his many years of work investigating causes and effects of iodine deficiency and implementing effective preventive measures in both Peru and the rest of the Americas. His award address was entitled "Iodine Deficiency and Diminished Quality of Life: Three Decades of Fighting for its Eradication."
Dr. Pretell has been active in many phases of the battle against IDD. He was one of the first to use injections of iodized oil in areas of severe iodine deficiency. In addition to correcting the iodine deficiency, he conducted valuable investigations on the effects of injected iodized oil on thyroid function and its optimal dose, as well as its cost effectiveness. He subsequently carried out similar studies with oral iodized oil.
The maternal-fetal relationship in iodine deficiency has been a particular investigative interest. He carried out detailed metabolic and anthropometric studies to show the beneficial effects of iodized oil on intelligence, hearing, and language, and demonstrated the importance of maternal milk in iodine nutrition of the infant. All his investigations have been aimed at improving public health, but in addition, he has been closely associated with the Peruvian Ministry of Health in its efforts towards IDD elimination and served as Director of the Peruvian Program Against Iodine Deficiency during its most active years. The rapid progress in correction of iodine deficiency in Peru during the last 10 years owes much of its success to his direction and guidance.
Finally, in addition to his national work, Dr. Pretell has been the Regional Coordinator for the Americas for ICCIDD since its inception in 1985. In that role, he continues to be one of the key players in the dramatic progress made in the Region.