Mekong Institute in collaboration with the Food and Drug Department, Ministry of Health of Lao PDR recently organized a “Food Safety Learning Event and Networking” in Vientiane, Lao PDR on December 4, 2018. Part of MI’s NZAP-supported PROSAFE Project, the one-day event brought together some 40 PROSAFE alumni from various public and private organizations such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National University of Laos.
The event offered the food safety stakeholders an opportunity to discuss strategies and mechanisms to strengthen national food safety control system initiatives in Lao PDR, and enhance understanding of the national priorities and initiatives in food safety. Among the topics presented were the burden of foodborne illnesses in Southeast Asia and Lao PDR, National Food Control System and National Initiatives on Food Safety.
This gathering of MI training alumni also served to strengthen the network of food safety champions in Lao PDR. According to Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of MI’s Agricultural Development and Commercialization (ADC) Department, a strong network presents several opportunities for improving the food safety situation in Lao PDR, among them increasing the public trust in food safety control in the country and enabling demonstrable changes in Lao PDR under the PROSAFE Project.