Workshop on detection, surveillance and prevention of foodborne diseases

WHO in collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) organized a workshop in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 5–9 November 2012 for central Asian countries and Kazakhstan on integrated foodborne disease detection, surveillance and prevention. The purpose of the workshop was to continue assistance in strengthening national capacity in this area of food safety. The specific objectives of the workshop were to:

  • build awareness among decision makers about current food safety challenges in the subregion, its magnitude and the need for integrated foodborne disease surveillance and preparedness;
  • foster and strengthen coordination and collaboration among public health, veterinary and food-related disciplines in the area of foodborne disease surveillance and prevention;
  • 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 training on the epidemiology of foodborne diseases and outbreak investigations with particular emphasis on Campylobacter, Salmonella and related antibiotic resistance, as well as botulism;
  • provide specific laboratory training on Campylobacter, Salmonella and related antibiotic resistance.

The workshop was attended by national professionals from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the fields of public health, veterinary medicine, food safety and agriculture. Trainers were from the Institut Pasteur Saint Petersburg, Danish Technical University (DTU), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and The World Bank, in addition to WHO and CDC.


Participants provided valuable feedback and agreed on the following recommendations to the national authorities in central Asia:

  • Improve coordination and develop mechanisms for intersectoral collaboration and action between authorities of ministries of health and agriculture in food safety emergencies.
  • Improve surveillance for Campylobacter, Salmonella and related antibiotic resistance (human, food and food animals).
  • Implement laboratory diagnostics for Campylobacter (human and poultry).
  • Implement a quality assurance system for antibiotic resistance testing and apply international standards.
  • Plan and apply for focused country and regional projects: for instance, survey of Campylobacter in humans and poultry, and antibiotic resistance in Salmonella from humans, food and food animals.
  • Establish a system for information/data exchange and analysis on foodborne diseases, their causes and related antibiotic resistance between ministries of health and agriculture at national level.
  • Establish a system for information/data exchange among the countries of central Asia on foodborne disease, zoonoses and other health issues: for instance, a monthly bulletin with the proposed regional Central Asia Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


  • George Schmid, CDC, Almaty Office
  • Patricia Griffin, CDC
  • Abdubois Marufov, CDC
  • Eleonora Dupouy, FAO
  • Nedim Jaganjac, The World Bank
  • Rene Hendriksen, DTU
  • Alexander Porin, Institut Pasteur Saint Petersburg
  • Khadicha Boymatova, National Professional Officer, WHO Country Office, Tajikistan
  • Zulfia Atadjanova, National Professional Officer, WHO Country Office, Uzbekistan
  • Danilo Lo Fo Wong, Senior Adviser, Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO/Europe
  • Hilde Kruse, Programme Manager Food Safety, WHO/Europe