A new National Food Safety Policy is emphasizing the need for stricter regulations on sanitation and hygiene as a way to cut down on the burden of food-related illnesses.
Dr. Sam Zaramba, the Director General of Health Services, says that sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, Hepatitis E and typhoid account for about 65 percent of all cases treated by hospitals and clinics around the country every year.
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Data from the Ministry of Health indicates that intestinal worms, non-bloody diarrhea and typhoid affect about 1.3 million Ugandans every year.
Dr. Zaramba says tackling sanitation issues in food growing, marketing and consumption is a practical preventive move towards curbing these diseases. He says details of exactly how to enforce this will be included in the National Food Safety Police, which will be a modification of the 1964 Food Act.
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The draft policy gives the National Drug Authority responsibility for regulation of food safety.
Apollo Muhairwe, the Executive Secretary of the National Drug Authority, says that once the police is operationalized what is now a single food safety desk will be expanded to include a laboratory to test all food. It will also employ food inspectors and researchers.