#Article (Archive)

Public Health is Public Wealth

Feb 17, 2009, 4:20 AM

Once again the issue of food safety is back on the main agenda thanks to the recently held sensitisation of food vendors at Barra by the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare. The importance of this work cannot be over emphasised. Simple actions such as washing hands with soap after using the toilet and before handling food can have extremely far reaching effects in preventing the spread of cholera and diarrhea. These diseases are so very easily preventable but have such dire and sometimes fatal consequences when they are spread in the general population.

Public health is everybody's concern and this is why it is so good to see this issue being discussed openly by the Department of Health here in The Gambia. It is a genuine fulfillment of its role in protecting the people of The Gambia from these diseases and educating them regarding prevention.

There is also a great responsibility on food vendors to ensure that they are not points of entry for sickness and disease into the general population. We call on all food vendors in Barra and all around the country to heed the advice of the Department and play their role in preventing the spread of these diseases. It is their national duty.

In relation to the issue of toilets at the Barra station it is not our place to take sides and say that one side is right or wrong. All we pray is that the situation can be resolved so that the health of the people can be better protected than it is now.

"It is not to live but to be healthy that makes a life."