Foodborne disease and food contamination constitute a growing public health concern. WHO estimates that globally foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases cause the deaths of about 2.2 million people annually, 1.9 million of them children. In addition, chemical contamination causes a significant amount of foodborne disease
In 2011 Regional Committee Meeting, health representatives from countries in the Western Pacific Region endorsed the Western Pacific Regional Food Safety Strategy 2011-2015. Member States and countries were urged to use the strategy as a framework for strengthening the national food control systems to effectively protect public health, prevent fraud, avoid food adulteration and facilitate safe and healthy food.
The strategy also defines the work of the food safety programme in the WHO Western Pacific Region for the next five years.
The strategy is made up of seven (7) themes:
- Improved food control and coordination throughout the food chain continuum and adequate funding;
- Risk-based regulatory frameworks;
- Improved availability of food safety data to better guide policy and risk analysis;
- Inspection services;
- Food safety training and education;
- Capacity to detect, assess and manage food safety incidents and emergencies; and
- Enhanced cooperative planning.