The federal government of Nigeria has said consumption of unsafe or contaminated food was causing the country estimated $95 billion in productivity decline.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who spoke at this year’s World Food Safety Day in Abuja, said the public health burden due to food borne diseases was comparable to malaria and HIV-AIDS.
“Unsafe food hinders development especially on low and middle Income economies which lose around $95 billion in productivity associated with illness, disability and premature death suffered by workers,” he said.
Ehanire said over 200 diseases were caused by unsafe food consumption and that children share about 40 per cent of the food borne disease burden.
“Unsafe food causes one in every six deaths from diarrhea, a major killer of children of the age group,” he said.
The World Food Safety Day 2022, marked June 7 with the theme, “Safer Food, Better Health”, provided an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe food, government, producers, handlers and consumers having a role to play in making food safe.
The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, urged Nigerians to always ensure that only safe, and wholesome food were consumed to boost immunity and improve the body’s natural defenses in fighting diseases.
She said Nigerians do not need medicines if they eat right, stressing that eating right means making healthy food choices from safe, wholesome, and nutritious foods.
“We know that food safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a role to play in ensuring we have safer food for better health: from growers to processors, to transporters, sellers, buyers, and those who prepare or serve food.
“Policy makers, educational institutions and workplaces, as well as consumers are not left out; food safety is the responsibility of all. We must all work together to help achieve safer food for better health,” she added.
A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition as it protects you against many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars and saturated and industrially-produced trans-fats, are essential for healthy diet. Take action on healthy diet for yourself and family today.