Anambra State Inaugurates Stakeholders on Food Safety and hygiene, WASH

By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka

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Anambra State ministry of health in collaboration with Nigeria Association of Food Vendors, Anambra chapter, have inaugurated stakeholders on food safety and hygiene and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), in healthcare facilities in the state.

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Inaugurating the committee in Awka, the state capital, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike who disclosed that the aim was for Anambra and other residents of the state to eat hygienic food and drink safe and potable water especially in the various healthcare facilities.

He noted that, “Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration is passionate about food safety in the state, as his administration is committed to ensuring that Anambra people eat good and safe food that are not contaminated under any guise.”

Dr. Obidike represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Obiageli Uchebo pointed out that food safety is one of the most significant issues in the state and Nigeria in general, as most people eat out on daily basis and charged stakeholders to take their job seriously, even as he commended Governor Chukwuma Soludo for the ongoing provision of potable water in the state.

In his address, the Anambra State Chairman of Food Vendors Association of Nigeria, Comrade Obi Madubugwu, assured that they will do everything humanly possible to deliver on the mandate given to them by involving all the relevant stakeholders to sensitize and educate the citizenry.

“This project has lingered for almost 3 years but we are grateful to Governor Soludo, health commissioner, the director and deputy director for actualizing our dream.It is a new beginning for Anambrarians to get it right,healthwise.

“In a bid to maintain good health, the food vendors would be advised to have disposable rubber gloves, plasters and other measures for minor cuts for use as necessary to the personnel who have contact with food.

“With the help of the state health ministry,we will train and re train food vendors on good hygienic practices with emphasis on the importance of good hygiene and ideal hand washing practices.

“The food vendors would be made to appreciate the impact of poor personal cleanliness and unsanitary practices on food safety. Equally, with the assistance of the state health ministry there is the need to educate food vendors on the avoidance of unwholesome practice of scratching the head, placing finger in or about the mouth or nose and indiscriminate and
uncovered sneezing. Furthermore, they would be encouraged to inculcate the habit of thorough and proper hand washing after using the toilet/bathroom, before and after.”

Speaking at the occasion, the state ministry of health food safety, hygiene and WASH in healthcare system program manager, Dr Rose Amasiani said that the group was created in April 2021, and that the aim was to enhance the understanding of stakeholders on the importance and principles of domestication of food safety and hygiene programme in Anambra state.

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“This inauguration is to bring sanity as far as food and water safety are concerned.It is also to ensure that Anambra people eat and drink safe food and water to reduce morbidity and mortality as a result of consumption of poor food and water contaminated by pathogens, chemicals among others. Food safety, hygiene and WASH have come to be in the state.”

Dr. Amasiani also disclosed that there are about 600 million cases of food borne illnesses annually and about 420,000 food related deaths yearly, urging all hands to be on deck in championing the campaign of food safety, water, sanitation and hygiene.

The State Director of Public Health, Dr Afam Aneme noted that the campaign needs all the relevant stakeholders to key in and help to propagate the gospel of eating good and safe food, as well as drinking potable water in their various homes and hospitals.

Speaking on behalf of the Transition Committee Chairmen, the Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra East Local Government Area, Dr. Anslem Onuorah promised that they will give the associates all the necessary support for them to excel, stressing on the need for robust and massive sensitization of the people.

 

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