At today’s press conference was concluded

Statement from the press conference of ass. Dr. Shaban Memeti, Director of the Institute of Public Health

Each year the World Health Organization selects a priority area of ​​global public health problem as the theme for the World Health Day, 7 April. The theme for the World health day in 2015 is committed to food safety, with the motto – food safety – from farm to plate. From the motto, it can be seen call for enhanced intersectoral collaboration in the control system of food. This topic has great importance for all people on the planet, the more stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector, and intergovernmental agencies.

On World Health Day 2015, WHO Europe estimates that the number of infected people with diseases that are transmitted through food, is higher than the reported, and emphasizes the need to improve cooperation between sectors to reduce health risks associated with unsafe food.

Institute of the Public Health as a national preventive health institution has a role in recording and analysis of data related to the foodborne diseases and thereby alerts for emergence of a trend in certain diseases. But also, it participates in the control of food safety through accredited laboratories in the process of creating policies for risk management.

The national system for reporting and recording of infectious diseases among the population in the country, can be seen that infections caused by microbial contaminated food have variable trend, bacterial food-borne infections and intoxications have an increasing trend, salmonellosis is increasing, and also, intestinal infections caused by E.coli, due to the recently introduced legal obligation to report. During the 2014, for the first time was recorded outbreak of listeriosis caused by contaminated food, which was followed by a high mortality rate (50%). On the other side, brucellosis marked increasing trend due to intersectoral efforts to reduce the incidence of this zoonosis.

Тoday we want to convey a global message from WHO to policy makers (WHO calls on policy-makers)

  • To build and maintain adequate food safety systems and infrastructures, including laboratory capacities and surveillance and reporting systems;
  • To respond to and manage food safety risks along the entire food chain, including during emergencies;
  • To foster multisectoral collaboration among public health, animal health, agriculture and other sectors for better communication, information sharing and joint action;
  • To integrate food safety into broader food policies and programmes (e.g. nutrition and food security);
  • To think globally and act locally to ensure that food produced domestically is as safe as possible internationally

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Macedonia has safe food

Foodborne diseases- public health challenge

More than 200 diseases are spread through food.  Foodborne diseases are caused by microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions, parasites), chemicals, radioactivity, or even physical agents.

  • Globally, food- and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases kill an estimated 2 million people annually, many of whom are children.
  • In 2012, there were over 310 000 human cases of bacterial foodborne disease reported in the European Union (EU), resulting in 304 deaths. The estimated that 3% of food-related illnesses lead to long-term health consequences
  • Serious permanent damage to health such as impairment of kidney function, liver, brain and neurological disorders, reactive arthritis, cancer, sepsis and death may be caused by contaminated food./ Symptoms which starts very fast after consummation of contaminated food are> nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain.

It is commonly caused by eating food contaminated by bacteria, such as Salmonella,Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacilluscereus or Escherichia coli (E. coli), or by a virus, such as norovirus.

Eating contaminated food can have very severe consequences, someof which can be long term, including kidney and liver failure, brain andneural disorders, reactive arthritis, cancer, septicaemia and even death.

Trends in food safety

  • Globalization of food – animal trade, travel and migration – transmission of pathogenic organisms for long distances, long and complex food chain.
  • Changes in agriculture and food production – intensification and industrialization of agriculture, new technologies, handling infected animals during the production of food.
  • Increased vulnerability of human population- an ageing population, mmunocompromised people, poverty, migration, crisis and climate changes
  • Changing lifestyle – urbanization, eating outside of home, mostly raw food

Health and economic impact E.coli (EHEC *) outbreak in Europe in 2011

  • Related to contaminated sprouts
  • infected people were reported in 14 countries in Europe and two in North America
  • 4000 reported cases, of which 1000 with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) and 55 deaths
  • US $ 1.3 billion in losses to farmers and industries.

 “Today, the journey from where our food comes from to how it ends on our plate is longer and more complex than ever before. Food safety risks exist at every step. Our food safety and control systems must adapt and work together across sectors, along the entire food chain.”

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

Intersectoral “wins” – Agriculture and Health

By working together, health and agriculture sectors can prevent infectious and non-infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, to support sustainable development, and to provide (both in urban and rural areas) to population  having access to safe and nutritionally adequate food

How agricultural sector can promote health through actions in food safety?

  • Using a holistic approach, based on risk assessment throughout the food chain
  • To pay particular attention to diseases related to food, zoonoses and antimicrobial resistance
  • To establish relevant monitoring systems in the food chain
  • To ensure hygienic production, processing and distribution of food

How health sector can help agriculture stocks for food safety

  • Strengthening the system for reporting and recording of diseases related to food, so the agricultural sector to take preventive measures and to provide an adequate response.

  Foodborne diseases, related to contaminated food with bacteria in 2014 in Macedonia

909 food-borne infections and intoxications, 204 salmonellosis,  162 infections of E.Coli, 40 Brucellosis

These diseases can be prevented by applying the 5 keys to safer food

  • Keep hygiene
  • Separate raw and cooked
  • Cook thoroughly
  • Keep food at safe temperatures
  • Use safe water and fresh products

 Doc. Dr Gordana Ristovska,