WHO calls for intensified efforts to prevent foodborne diseases

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 07, 2021

The South-East Asia region contributes around 42% of FDB mortality

The World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region has called for an intensified whole-of-society efforts to prevent, detect, and manage the risk of foodborne diseases (FBD), which affects 600 million people globally.

The region contributes a quarter of the global burden of FBD morbidity and nearly 42 per cent of FBD mortality. Safe food is critical to promoting health and ending hunger, two of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. WHO’s South-East Asia Region comprises 11 member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives and Myanmar.

The use of anti-microbials in farm animals is a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – a health and development threat, and one of the region’s eight flagship priorities, WHO said in a statement.

“The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, highlights the benefits of safe food production and consumption for people, the planet and economies. Food safety is everyone’s business. We must all do our part,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said.

The region has in recent years achieved sustained, multi-sectoral progress to enhance food safety. All member States have established a National Codex Committee to advise government on Codex standards, codes of practice and guidelines.

The region continues to apply a ‘One Health’ approach to food safety, spearheaded by the regional tripartite mechanism, which brings together WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Published on June 07, 2021

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