No cause for alarm; Health Ministry allays fears of Listeriosis in Ghana

Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Minister of Health
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health

Government says it has beefed up surveillance in the country to forestall the outbreak and spread of Listeriosis, a type of food poisoning caused by a bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes, which is causing havoc in South Africa.

The Republic of Rwanda had earlier warned Ghana to ban the importation of some food products from South Africa to avert the outbreak of the Listeriosis disease.

Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes which affects meat and dairy product, fruits and vegetables.

The infection according to medical practitioners, results in miscarriage among pregnant women, cause premature delivery, cause serious infection to newborns, and even leads to stillbirth.

The Health Ministry in a statement signed by the sector Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said there is no cause for alarm as measures have been put in place to prevent the outbreak of Listeriosis in the country.

“In view of the public health concern and to avoid a similar outbreak here in Ghana, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is monitoring the situation and has increased surveillance on meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from South Africa to ensure that they are not contaminated.”

“All officers at the various ports of entry have been tasked to be more vigilant and inspections have been intensified. We are therefore assuring the Ghanaian public that there is no cause for alarm and we shall continue to monitor, investigate and assess the quality of plant and animal products coming from South Africa,” the statement added.

GAWU calls for restriction on food imports from SA  

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), had also called for the immediate ban on the importation of food products from South Africa.

According to GAWU, a further delay by government could put Ghanaians at a high risk.

“That is what we should do immediately because until we are satisfied that products coming from South Africa are wholesome to be consumed, then the immediate thing to do is ban before we go into anything,” General Secretary of GAWU Edward Kareweh said.

Agric Ministry warned

Already, the Republic of Rwanda through its Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, announced a ban on the 19th of December, 2017, from South Africa, to prevent a possible spread of the disease.

According to a document sighted by Citi News, the Republic of Rwanda is insisting that the ban remains indefinite until South Africa brings it under control—as it urges other countries to do same until the disease is completely eliminated from the continent.

“In view of recent measures being taken by some African countries to mitigate the spread of Listeriosis, your ministries may be alerted to these actions to inform the formulation of appropriate preventive measures,” the document warned.

By: Farida Yusif /