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FDA: 36 die from food poisoning out of 1,914 victims

Food poisoning killed 36 people out of the 1,914 Ghanaians who suffered from various forms of food poisoning.

Out of the figure were 60 cases of food-borne disease outbreaks with a total of 36 deaths.

Figures from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) reveal that  these incidents happened between  2013 and 2021

Food-borne diseases comprise a broad spectrum of diseases and accounts for a significant number of morbidity and mortality issues worldwide.

Ghanaians who suffered from food poisoning in a pilot project conducted in 2015 reported different illnesses such as viral hepatitis, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and other food born diseases.

The FDA has called for effective collaboration to ensure surveillance and prompt food-borne disease outbreak response in the country to tackle the situation

Chief Executive Officer of FDA,  Mrs Delese M. Darko said surveillance of food-borne diseases was becoming an increasingly high priority in the public health agenda in many countries.

According to her, such surveillance helped estimate the burden of food-borne diseases, assessed relative impacts on health and economics, and the evaluation of prevention and control programmes.

She was addressing participants at a two-day training workshop on the implementation of an integrated Food-borne Disease Surveillance System and Food Safety Emergency Response Plan (FoSERP).

The training discussed issues concerning food-borne diseases in Ghana and the need to keep appropriate data on food-borne diseases.

Mrs Darko, reiterated the need for rapid detection of and response to outbreaks, a major source of information for conducting risk assessment, and more broadly, for risk management and communication.

She explained that changes in food production and distribution methods were making food safety a critical and fundamental component of public health.

Mrs Darko said the  FDA in 2021 spearheaded the development of a Food Safety Emergency Response Plan (FoSERP), which outlined how food safety emergencies, including food-borne disease outbreaks were to be addressed in a coordinated manner.

Head of Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department at FDA Mrs  Joycelyn  Adelaide N.K Egyakwa-Amusah, said the need for collaboration was important as it would enable Ghana to meet the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) requirements for food safety whiles enabling compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR).


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