World Health Day was celebrated by students, faculty and research scholars of the School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad.

Every year, the World Health Organization selects a priority area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day, which falls on 7 April.

The theme for year 2015 is Food Safety: From Farm to Plate: Make Food Safe


Sudershan V Rao

As a part of the celebrations, the School of Medical Sciences arranged a guest lecture by Dr. Sudershan V Rao, Scientist ‘E’ of the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. The Dean of the School welcomed the speaker and opined that the topic of safe food was important to public health. Safe food underpins but is distinct from food security. Food safety is an area of public health action to protect consumers from the risks of food poisoning and food-borne diseases, acute or chronic. Unsafe food can lead to a range of health problems: diarrhoeal disease, viral disease (the first Ebola cases were linked to contaminated bush meat); reproductive and developmental problems, cancers. Food safety is thus a prerequisite for food security.

Dr. Sudershan Rao emphasized on food hygiene, good eating habits that include a balanced diet, safe drinking water and food diversity in meal and avoid intake of unsafe food drastically as it had a bad effect on health. Common food adulterants and additives and their safe use and the importance of safe food along the food supply chain from farm to the plate was discussed. He concluded by saying Food Safety is a shared responsibility and coordinated approach among all stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector, and intergovernmental agencies is needed.