Thursday, August 18, 2022

H&FW deptt firm on food safety: Dr. Vikato


Principal director, directorate of Health & Family welfare (H&FW), Dr. K. Vikato Kinimi on Wednesday said the department has stood firmly for food safety measures in the state by checking shops, eateries and food storehouses so that they fall under the guidelines of the food safety measures.
According to a DIPR report, he was speaking as special guest at the training programme on rice fortification for food safety officers (FSOs) and government officials on the theme “rice fortification for better nutrition outcomes”, organised by Centre for Health Research and Innovation (CHRI) and National Stock Exchange Foundation (NSEF) in collaboration with Food Safety Authority at IDSP conference hall, Kohima.
Dr. Vikato said the department also banned the sale of fish in the state for few months, due to the presence of chloroform and opined that most diseases were caused by bad food.
He advised the officers and staff to learn well so that they could sensitise the public.
The resource persons for the training were—lead, Nutrition Family Health CHRI/PATH, New Delhi, Rohini Saran, who spoke on the topic “Concept and need of Rice Fortification”; state technical officer, CHRI, Shan Ezung on “Enabling Environment and Concept of Rice Fortification” and project lead, CHRI, New Delhi on “Quality Control and Assurance of Fortified Rice and Consumer Awareness”.
During the training on fortified rice, resource persons said anemia and micronutrient deficiencies in India were recognised as a deterrent to maternal and child survival and overall productivity of the nation.
They said it also contributed to high maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, obstetrical risks, impairment of fetal development and low birth weight.
National Family Health Survey (2019-2020)
The resource persons informed that the recent data as per National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2020) showed that in Nagaland, anemia affected 34% of women in the reproductive age group (15-49 years), 10% of men and approx. 43% of children under five years of age.
Addressing anemia through nutrition education, diet
The resource persons informed that anemia and micronutrient malnutrition can be addressed through improving dietary intakes by diversification of diets combined with nutrition education; food fortification; supplementation and other disease control measures.
They explained that fortification was the “most effective strategy” to combat the problem of micronutrient deficiencies in the population.
Further, the resource persons highlighted the roles of Food Safety Authority (FSA), H&FW department.
The objectives of the training include—providing opportunity for training on safety measures and regulation of fortified rice, sensitising DO & FSO on the concept of rice fortification, addressing the myths around fortification, agree on a way forward for partnering in creating mass awareness on rice fortification by leveraging existing systems and platforms at district level and develop a comprehensive sustainable time-bound action plan for the same.
Earlier, welcome address was delivered by state program officer, Food Safety H&FW, Dr. John Kemp while closing remark was given by designated officer, Food Safety Kohima Zone, Peterson Pongener.

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