WHO experts arrive in South Africa to help with listeriosis outbreak

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sent experts to South Africa to help contain the current outbreak of listeriosis and to strengthen health systems to prevent future outbreaks.

There have been over 900 confirmed cases and over 180 deaths from listeriosis in South Africa since the outbreak last year.

Head of the World Health Organization in South Africa, Dr Rufaro Chatora says six of the seven experts have already landed in South Africa and have teamed up with local experts in order to come up with a swift solution to the problem.

The last expert is expected to arrive in the country in the next few days.

Read: There needs to be an urgent review of food management safety in SA'

Experts from WHO cover the area of food safety, epidemiology, risk communication and managing outbreaks.

Dr Rufaro Chatora, Head of the World Health Organization in South Africa

Dr Chatora says WHO is satisfied with the kind of investigations that have been carried out in South Africa and the methods that have been used to identify the strain of listeria and the sources.

He says the method used in South Africa is the same method that is used the world over, including the US.

Read also: Monocytogenes Subtypes Number 6 found to be the cause of SA Listeria outbreak

When you are able to show that the strain found in the food production plants is the same strain found in the human cases, then you can say we found the source.

Dr Rufaro Chatora, Head of the World Health Organization in South Africa

He says the WHO experts will also try to help with looking at the existing processes in place regarding evaluation and monitoring of food production, as well as identifying gaps and finding solutions.

To hear more on how WHO will be helping South Africa deal with listeriosis outbreak, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : WHO experts arrive in South Africa to help with listeriosis outbreak


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