Friday September 20, 2019

Are you eating right? 10 interesting facts on food safety highlighted by WHO

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In coming times, the great majority of people will experience a food or water borne disease at some point in their lives. This highlights the importance of making sure the food we eat is not contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, toxins and chemicals.

Here are ten interesting facts on food safety

1. Millions of people fall ill every year and many die as a result of eating unsafe food. Diarrheal diseases alone kill an estimated 1.5 million children annually, and most of these illnesses are due to contaminated drinking water.
2. Food contaminated with heavy metals or with naturally occurring toxins can also cause long-term health problems including cancer and neurological disorders.
3.  For infants, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly, the consequences of foodborne disease are usually more severe and may be fatal.
4, Today’s food supply is complex and involves a range of different stages before the food reaches the consumers. There are numerous stages at which contamination can take place.
5. Globalization of food production and trade has many stages in which it is packed and then transported to various places. This is such a complex process which prevents from finding the culprit of foodborne disease.
6. Different governmental departments and agencies,  need to collaborate and communicate with each other and engage with the civil society including consumer groups.
7. Food contamination is not just harmful to health but also to – it undermines food exports, tourism, livelihoods of food handlers and economic development, both in developed and developing countries.
8. Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in agriculture and animal husbandry, in addition to human clinical uses, is one of the factors leading to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
9.   Achieving food safety is a multi-sectoral effort requiring expertise from a range of different disciplines – toxicology, microbiology, parasitology, nutrition, health economics, and human and veterinary medicine.
10.People should make informed and wise food choices. They should know common food hazards and how to handle food safely, using the information provided in food labelling.

(Content: WHO)

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Making note! Diet is the most essential part for healthy life, helpful article.

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WHO Calling for Urgent Action to End Bad Health Care Practices Responsible for Killing Millions of Patients

WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17

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WHO, Health Care, Patients
Intravenous bags hang above young cancer patients at Rady's Children Hospital in San Diego, California, Sept. 4, 2019. VOA

The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year.  WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17.

People who fall ill go to their doctor or sign themselves into a hospital in the expectation of receiving treatment that will cure them. Unfortunately, in many cases the treatment they receive will kill them

The World Health Organization reports one in 10 patients is harmed in high-income countries. It says 134 million patients in low-and-middle-income countries are harmed because of unsafe care leading to 2.6 million deaths annually. WHO notes most of these deaths are avoidable.

Neelam Dhingra-Kuram is WHO coordinator of Patient Safety and Risk Management. She said harm occurs mainly because of wrong diagnosis, wrong prescriptions, the improper use of medication, incorrect surgical procedures and health care associated infections.

WHO, Health Care, Patients
The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year. Pixabay

“But the major reason for this harm is that in the health care facilities, in the system there is lack of patient safety culture. And, that means that the leadership is not strong enough…So, lack of open communication, lack of systems to learn from mistakes and errors. So, already suppose errors are happening and harm is taking place. If you do not learn from it, it is really a lost opportunity,” she said.

Dhingra-Kuram said systems must be created where health care workers are encouraged to report mistakes and are not fearful of being blamed for reporting errors.

Besides the avoidable and tragic loss of life, WHO reports patient harm leads to economic losses of trillions of dollars globally each year. It says medication errors alone cost an estimated $42 billion annually.

Also Read- New York Government Pushing to Enact Statewide Ban on Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes

On the other hand, WHO says a study in the United States finds safety improvement in patient care has resulted in estimated savings of $28 billion in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015. (VOA)