By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
Belize is celebrating the 65th observance of World Health Day, through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with a week of activities.
On Tuesday representatives from the Ministry of Health will make appearances on several morning shows to raise awareness for the significance of the observance as well giving tips on how to maintain healthy practices in accordance with this year’s theme, “From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe.”
On Wednesday an open day will be held at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan to highlight the work of various stakeholders as they demonstrate effective food safety measures used in food production. The Ministry will also make trips to several farms to ensure proper food production standards.
According to the Ministry, this year’s theme allows them to focus on food safety and nutrition here at home. Food safety is a shared responsibility and it is important along the entire food production chain, from farmers to manufacturers to vendors to the consumers, the Ministry said.
Last year the Ministry shared the results of a survey on acute gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the stomach flu, and food-born illnesses in Belize, and their burden on the Public Health System. The burden, which can be reduced through simple practices such as keeping food utensils, hands, food and preparatory areas clean was estimated at over $6 million annually.
World Health Day is held every year since 1950 to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.