The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged African nations to strengthen their national food safety systems in order to improve the health of its citizens.
Rudi Eggers, WHO Representative in Kenya, said this on Monday in Nairobi during the 22nd session of the CODEX Coordinating Committee for Africa.
The theme: “The development of regulations and standards is a way of improving food safety and nutrition.”
He told a regional food safety conference that while countries in the region are at various stages of strengthening their food safety system, much remains to be done.
The five-day event brought delegates from over 40 African countries to review ways to enhance food safety in the region.
Eggers said from the WHO study released in 2015, the African region has the highest burden of food-borne diseases with more than 91 million people falling ill and another 137,000 dying in 2015.
The official said that the strengthening of national food safety systems is a concern for the region as well as a priority for the WHO.
He added that protecting human health in today’s global food market is therefore an important challenge.
The representative said that strengthening of food safety systems should be supported by capacity building and education.
Eggers said this has become imperative in order to contribute to a comprehensive framework to address public health issues as well as facilitate trade in healthy and safe food.