Events - Exclusive Event CoverageADAFSA and WHO Organize National Workshop on Foodborne Disease Assessment

ADAFSA and WHO Organize National Workshop on Foodborne Disease Assessment

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Abu Dhabi- February 2024- The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), organised a national workshop on estimating the burden of foodborne diseases as part of their joint efforts to improve food safety and protect public health.

Moreover, The workshop, which was attended by experts and specialists from relevant government agencies across the country, aimed to build national capacity to use internationally standardised methodologies to assess the burden of foodborne disease. This will align with best international standards and ultimately improve food safety at the national level.

In her opening remarks, Her Excellency Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, Deputy Director General for Regulatory and Administrative Affairs at ADAFSA, expressed her appreciation for the effective collaboration between ADAFSA and WHO in managing food risks and addressing food safety challenges.

HE Al Muhairi said: “Our collaboration with WHO in this workshop provides an important opportunity for all relevant authorities in the UAE to support efforts to estimate the burden of foodborne diseases. Understanding WHO’s methodology will help to map the overall health landscape in the country, paving the way for the necessary steps to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases and establish a safer food system.”

Dr. Elaine Borghi, WHO Representative, emphasised the workshop’s importance in strengthening international cooperation in food safety, stating “Foodborne diseases are a significant global public health concern, with estimated annual economic losses of around $110 billion USD. At WHO, we are committed to reducing the burden of foodborne diseases through our food safety strategy adopted by Member States in 2022.”

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At the end of the national workshop, His Excellency the Deputy Director General of ADAFSA honoured the speakers of the workshop and presented the training certificates to the trainees.

Additionally, This workshop is part of the joint efforts by ADAFSA and WHO to strengthen international cooperation in food safety, aligning with the WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022-2030. In April 2021, ADAFSA’s Committee on Agricultural and Food Risk Assessment adopted the proposal to estimate the burden of foodborne diseases.

This estimate is in line with the World Health Assembly’s request to WHO to regularly monitor and report to Member States on the global burden of foodborne diseases. WHO encourages all countries to work on developing their own estimates.

Furthermore, Through its partnership with WHO, ADAFSA aims to play a key role in realising the Abu Dhabi government’s vision of global leadership in food security. This includes training local and national experts to assess the burden of foodborne disease, and seeking international recognition for the burden assessment study by aligning it with UN standards.

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