(KPL) More than twenty representatives from different ministries have learned the situation and impacts of unsafe food, and the responsibility of relevant authorities at a workshop supported by the Newzealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme.
Held in Vientiane on Dec 4, the workshop drew participants from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and the media.
Challenges and opportunities regarding food safety in the Lao PDR were presented by Ms. Bouaphanh Khamphapongphane, Head of Epidemiology Section, National Center of Laboratory and Epidemiology, MOH.
We work hard to monitor and address issues related to eating unclean or poisonous food, said Ms. Bouaphanh.
People living in remote areas, in Attapeu, for instance, where water people use are contaminated by bacterias from animal feces. They drink acolhol from a shared glass and don’t have toilets that meet hygienic standards. In addition, they are less aware of food safety. Meanwhile, in some areas, food vendors are not aware of hygienic and sanitary practices, explained Ms. Bouaphanh.
Food safety is the assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared or eaten according to its intended use, according to WHO.
Microbiological contamination of food and water is a major cause of deaths and illness due to diarrhea, which is estimated to affect one in three people worldwide and over two million, including 1.9 million children die annually.
In the South-East Asia region, access to safe food remains a challenge with a large number of foodborne diseases widely prevalent in most member states.
An estimated 5 billion cases of diarrhea were reported in children under 5 years and above at the global level of which 3.2 billion cases were reported from South-East Asia each year.
Foodborne and other infectious enteric diseases had increasingly affected people’s health and well being and also had economic impacts on the individuals, communities and countries.
Source: Lao News Agency