Rwanda urges Ghana to ban food import from South Africa

Jan 11, 2018

Rwanda has warned Ghana to ban the importation of some food products from South Africa to avert an outbreak of the Listeriosis disease. Rwanda has already banned the said food products from South Africa to avoid a spread of the disease.

The Listeriosis disease can be transmitted through the consumption of plant and animal products such as meat, dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Listeriosis is a food poisoning infection that can be contracted by eating contaminated foods. The infection, can result in miscarriage among pregnant women, cause premature delivery, cause serious infection to newborns, and even lead to stillbirth.

A document sighted by Citifm warned the Ministry of Agriculture to take the relevant steps to ban the importation of the food products from South Africa as South Africa struggles to bring the outbreak under control. Already, the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources announced a ban on South African food products 19th December, 2017 to prevent a possible spread of the disease.
According to the document, Rwanda is insisting that the ban be indefinite until South Africa brings the disease 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.
In addition, it cautioned that it would be in the interest of countries to formulate policies on how the disease will be brought under control since other countries such as Botswana have also issued health alert on the disease.

Meanwhile, it is reported that Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister for Agriculture, is currently meeting with relevant stakeholders to take action on the alert.