Integrated foodborne infections surveillance training in Turkmenistan

WHO

A training course on epidemiology and laboratory detection of foodborne infections caused by Campylobacter and Salmonella, antibiotic resistance, risk communication and other related topics took place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on 23–27 September 2013. The training was organized under the framework of the WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) as part of efforts to strengthen national capacity for integrated foodborne disease detection, surveillance and control.

Objectives

The training objectives were to:

  • build awareness among experts in the public health and veterinary sectors on the value of integrated foodborne disease detection and surveillance;
  • foster the integration of foodborne disease and pathogen data to influence public health policy;
  • promote communication and collaboration between food safety microbiologists and epidemiologists;
  • provide laboratory training in foodborne disease detection and epidemiology.

Trainers from Institut Pasteur in St Petersburg, Russian Federation provided instruction to 35 participants from the public health, food safety and veterinary sectors in Turkmenistan, whose work is linked to detection and surveillance of foodborne disease/food contamination.

Foodborne disease – a widespread problem

Food safety is a major determinant of health, disease and productivity as it affects the survival, well-being and functioning of individuals and societies. Foodborne illness is among the most widespread public health problems and creates social and economic burdens as well as human suffering, a significant concern all countries must address. Prevention of foodborne disease relies on proper food safety systems including risk-based and efficient monitoring and surveillance programmes, appropriate legislation and food standards, relevant inspection and control mechanisms, timely and targeted risk communication, and last but not least international cooperation and collaboration.