Food safety and health: A strategy for the WHO African Region
AbstractThe burden of foodborne diseases in the African Region is difficult to surmise, but availabledata for diarrhoea due to contaminated food and water estimate mortality to be around 700 000persons per year in all ages. African children suffer an estimated five episodes of diarrhoea perchild per year, mostly due to contaminated infant food. Microbial and chemical contaminants areof concern. Unless these issues are addressed, countries will have difficulty in achieving thehealth-related Millennium Development Goals.2. Despite efforts by governments and both multilateral and bilateral agencies, weaknessesremain in national food control systems. Absence of enforceable policies, regulatory mechanisms,resources and coordination in addressing challenges may be the cause. Assuring food safety is ashared responsibility that requires the common vision of all stakeholders.3. This strategy will assist countries to define their food safety challenges and design nationalaction plans with specific interventions for effective outcomes. The guiding principles of thestrategy include country ownership and leadership; holistic and risk-based actions; intersectoralcooperation and collaboration; community participation; strengthened health systems; individualresponsibility; and participation of women and communities. Priority interventions includeformulation and implementation of policies and regulations; capacity building in foodbornedisease surveillance and inspection; and health education. Particular attention must be given toensure food safety in school feeding programmes.
Regional Committee for Africa, 57. (2011). Food safety and health: A strategy for the WHO African Region. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1817