By Faith Chimutsa
Sub-Saharan Africa has been reported of unsafe food which is a threat to human life and economies globally with an estimation of 600 million cases of food borne illness annually, Post On Sunday has learnt
More than 100 000 people die from unsafe food and lack of investement in Africa.
In a statement released by Deputy Director Laboratory Diagnostics and Research, Dr Chenai Majuru, said food safety is an issue that affects the health and well-being of all people in the world.
Without adequate investment in food safety standards, the world will not meet the Global Goal of ensuring good health Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 3 as food borne illnesses will continue to affect some of the most vulnerable populations.
This was said during the regional meeting on proficiency testing and inter-laboratory test/ comparison studies, food safety being hosted by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Technical Services and the Directorate of Veterinary Service in Zimbabwe at livestock services headquarters Harare.
Majuru further highlighted that ensuring food safety is a public health priority and an essential step to achieving food security.
“Effective food safety and quality control systems are key not only to safeguarding the and we’ll being of people,but also to fostering economic development and improving livelihoods by promoting acess to domestic, regional and international markets,” she said.
The meeting will support Member States on the effective participation in Proficiency Testing and Inter-laboratory Comparison Studies including corrective measures and experience sharing. This helps in the accreditation process in strengthening food safety control systems for the public health and improved trade.
The institutions represented at the meetig have actively and effectively participated in food proficiency testing (PT) schemes and related inter laboratory comparison (ILC).
In an interview with Wedzerai Makaya quality manager in the department of veterinary technical services, she said the purpose of this workshop is to help the participants understand the meaning of proficiency testing, inter-laboratory, how it is conducted and how they can coordinate the inter-laboratory amongst themselves through networking.
“This workshop is very important to the participants to share knowledge, it will help in terms of improving the performance, experience and challenges they have been facing in different laboratories for the achievement of accurate results,” she said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director Laboratory Diagnostics and Research Dr Majuru emphasized that by the end of this meeting the participants from different member states would have gained knowledge on how to review Proficiency Testing and Inter-laboratory testing results, trouble shoot and carry out corrective measures in an event of poor PT/ILC performance and acquisition of preliminary knowledge on lead assessment.