In 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and ILSI South Africa co-organized a hands-on food microbiological risk assessment (MRA) for risk managers training workshop. Held in Namibia, 13 countries participated out of 16 invited, in this first-ever MRA training held in southern Africa.
Its success led to FAO and ILSI South Africa again partnering on MRA training in 2016; this time co-funded by the government of Switzerland. Held in Rwanda, 16 central African nations were invited, 13 of which participated, in an expanded, four-day training program.
FAO and ILSI South Africa are hosting the third training on 30 October – 2 November 2017. Sixteen West African countries have been invited to the event, which will be held in Ghana.
Throughout the preparation and executive of the three trainings, ILSI South Africa’s executive and scientific director Lucia Anelich has stressed the important catalytic role course participants have in fostering risk assessment programs in their home countries to develop science-based food regulations to ultimately enable enhanced food trade amongst African countries and to increase domestic food safety.
The results from the previous two training events support her assertion:
- Botswana – Draft food safety bill includes risk analysis for the first time
- Malawi – FAO/ILSI MRA course participant leads new Antimicrobial Resistance Committee
- Mauritius – budget includes request to collect data on foodborne pathogens after government officials attend presentation on MRA
- South Africa – FAO/ILSI MRA course participant now director of food control in the Department of Health; food microbiology regulations are being revised
- Cameroon – FAO/ILSI MRA course participant sits on newly established committee on MRA principles
- Gabon – food import procedure now includes risk assessment
- Rwanada – standards for MRA for food products being developed
- Sudan – new National Food Safety Control Act is being drafted using MRA principles
- Tanzania – MRA now included in Strategic Plan of the Food and Drug Authority; course participant sits on responsible committee
- Uganda – Information from the FAO/ILSI MRA course is being used to develop risk profiles for products to undertake market surveillance
Contact Dr. Anelich for more information about how you can help support ILSI South Africa’s programs throughout Sub-Saharan Africa: firstname.lastname@example.org