The food safety
component of WHO programme in Bangladesh
aims at building capacity of government institution, Institute of Public
Health of DGHS to develop appropriate and effective management frameworks
that ensure safety of food from production to the point of consumption. The
food safety programme also emphasizes for the need for monitoring of food
safety and foodborne illness with modern risk based approach and techniques.
contamination and food adulteration situation of Bangladesh is a serious public
health concern. Unsafe/contaminated food causes many acute and life-long
diseases, ranging from diarrhoeal diseases to various forms of cancer. WHO
estimates that globally foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases taken
together kill about 2.2 million people annually, of them 1.9 million are
children. However, in Bangladesh
dependable assessment of the public health impact due to food contamination
is not available due to absence of a regular monitoring system. Limited data
from the ICDDR,B indicates 501 hospital visits per
day for treatment of diarrhoea that were attributable to food and water borne
causes. General scenario on food contamination demonstrates a widespread non
compliance with hygienic practice in food handling both among food producers
and food traders such as street food traders.
There is also
widespread evidence of food adulteration with harmful chemicals. The chronic
effect of such events such as cancer, kidney disorders and birth defects is
unlikely to be observed in short term, because the manifestation of the
disease only occurs after long-term, low-level exposure. Food contamination
and consumers exposure to food hazards have major implication on the food
security and consumers heath in Bangladesh. Low level of
awareness and weakness in existing Food laws and regulation are also
contributing to aggravating the country’s food safety situation.
health from such hazards therefore requires a comprehensive risk analysis and
risk management approach of food safety from production to consumption.
Further, raising awareness, ensuring safe water, sanitation and improved
hygiene practice will play a significant role in reducing food borne illness.
WHO is advocating for
strengthening of government capacity to monitor food safety with modern and
comprehensive risk management approach for last few years. So far WHO Bangladesh has:
supported the government in
capacity building of government institutions through developing training
supported in conducting a series of training programmes for the health
developed an appropriate IEC materials for raising
awareness among food producers, processors handlers and traders at public and
supported in conducting national and divsional level
seminars symposium etc.
WHO Current collaboration
WHO and FAO are
collaborating in a national project titled Improving Food Safety, Quality and Food control in Bangladesh for
provision of a coherent food safety and quality policies and strategies and a
modern risk-based food inspection system. During current biennium work-plan
special efforts will be given to further strengthen the food borne illness
surveillance system in the country. Capacity building for laboratory
personnel through WHO-GFN will be introduced in Bangladesh.