In an effort to better understand the epidemiology of food and water-borne infections in Barbados, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre/ Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), is leading a study to ascertain the causes of water and food-borne illnesses.

To this end, they will launch a "Burden of Food-Borne Illnesses Study" tomorrow, August 11, at the PAHO, Dayrells Road, St. Michael, at 8:45 a.m.??

Work in this area is scheduled to begin this Friday, August 13, and will involve the collection of information on food-borne infections and intoxicants, which cause many deaths worldwide.??

According to a Ministry official, there is currently little information available on the magnitude and burden of food and water-borne diseases, and on the key pathogens responsible for such infections in the Caribbean.?? This lack of data has resulted in limited knowledge of the cause or origin of such diseases and has prevented the development of targeted disease reduction interventions.

Material generated from this exercise will be used to explore risk factors for infection; identify gaps in existing surveillance systems; and provide the basis for guiding appropriate prevention and control measures for food-borne diseases.

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