Name of the activity: Food Safety Campaign

Country/NMO: Lebanon (LeMSIC)

Program: Communicable Diseases

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Third Party Activities

 

General description:

this activity is relevant to the program through the following points
1- through the training and the practical internship, the medical students and the general public are educated on the various types of communicable diseases and their epidemiology, ranging from well-known diseases to rare or region-specific diseases. in this case through food handling
2. The training and the provided awareness provided education to medical students and the general public on appropriate prevention strategies for communicable diseases, including safety, hygiene, sanitation, medications, and vaccinations through raising awareness about the latter in food production and animal health care.
3. medical students are equipped with the ability to identify and act on barriers to adequate communicable disease prevention and care, including economic, cultural, and religious barriers through the live visits where thy get to interact with all the layers of the society and its food handling rituals and habits.
4. this event did connect medical students with governmental and non-governmental organizations to facilitate joint advocacy, program development and implementation Antimicrobial Resistance in the future
5. this activity does educate medical students and other health professionals on the relationship between veterinary practices, the food chain and AMR in human communicable diseases and they reach us through food products.
6. The medical students will be equipped with the tools to critically examine antimicrobial strategies locally,regionally, nationally, and internationally since the members do learn where is the source of animals is coming from and how it is handled through the live visits in the market.
7. Through this campaign we are supporting medical student-lead implementation strategies to reduce transmission and/or improve health outcomes for communicable diseases.

Focus area:

Reduce incidence of Antimicrobial Resistance, prevention of common communicable diseases through food cotamination

Problem statement:

As we all know access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health and when those sources of life are contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, it causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancers at global and regional levels according to the WHO’s latest report in 2015.
And yes food, if not handled properly, induces a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. That explains why the burden of food-borne diseases to public health and welfare and to economy has been rising ominously and it has often been underestimated due to under-reporting and difficulty to establish causal relationships between food contamination and resulting illness or death.
Unfortunately, Lebanon does suffer from this public health threat extensively and though not thoroughly studied, many cases of contamination have been reported along the previous years and were highlighted on social media especially during an outbreak of hospitalization that we witnessed last year in our country. adding to the latter, our governmental control over the food production procedure as well as farming and animal care isn’t really accomplished or established. Our honorable ministry of economy and trade has been mobilized significantly regarding this matter through policy making and on the ground achievements but hasn’t reached significant change. that is why it has also initiated this national volunteering campaign that we were privileged to join and introduced our activity.
The ministry actually lacked the equipped numbers of volunteers to register and it also needed a more medical approach towards the public health dilemma, as stated by the head of the volunteering department.
Depending on the latter and the fact that we are a standing committee honoring public health in all its aspects, we aspired to play part as public health leaders in the process of improving food handling and production since such a cause does place a grave danger to the safety of the consuming public especially that it is considered a main mode of transmission for numerous communicable diseases.
Not only that,the ministry’s campaign falls directly within the scope of SCOPH’s objectives when it comes to preventive health and preservation of a healthy future for our upcoming generations since it tackles the topics of AMR as well, a major universal concern deeply involved in our food consumption and preparation process.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

our target group:
-the Lebanese market and that includes restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, food courts and super/mini/hypermarkets and food storage places.
-the workers and food handlers in the previously mentioned locations.
-the public exposed to the food products of the Lebanese market
-the medical students gaining experience from the practical and theoretical parts of this event.

the current and future beneficiaries:
-the ministry of economy and trade by establishing this collaboration and supplying them with our members on an annual basis.
-the medical students capable of participating several times in this campaign and of course getting certified

Objectives and indicators of success:

The campaign serves as a a surveillance and monitoring system for proper food handling as well as quality of food products/services across the Lebanese Market to maintain high international standards and criteria and of course assure the safety of the population by decreasing the chances of Communicable diseases that might be transmitted through improper practices concerning the latter. it also aims at monitoring the notion of AMR by investigating the methods of animal care and medical health before being delivered to the market.
We would be joining the ministry of economy and trade on the ground in realizing those goals through the volunteering opportunity they opened for the second year this time, and that is by providing the ministry with our equipped members that will not only serve as manpower but also participate in the awareness process coupled with this governmental event.
objectives:
1- equip the skills of 60 medical students in the field of food safety (overview, hygiene, AMR) through proper training by the ministry and SCOPH and practice through this event
2- raise awareness by reaching more than 20% of the public especially food workers and dealers to be visited in the campaign across Lebanon in terms of AMR prevention and hygiene and sanitation through face to face interactions
3- increase the success rate of the campaign by providing more than 60 knowledgeable volunteers in the field of public health which improves the delivery of info to the public and the practice on the ground
4- widen the spectrum of knowledge for the miniEB as well as general members on the role of food safety in the field of public health by organizing, supervising and participating in the event.
5- improve the visibility of LeMSIC’s work, achievements and volume at the level of the Lebanese population (reaching more than 200 citizens),market and government by participating and media coverage.
6- ameliorate the motivation of more than 100 members to participate on the upcoming SCOPH national event by enrolling in it.
7- enroll this activity under an IFMSA program to showcase our NMO’s accomplishment.

indicators of successs:
1- 132 members registered already to participate in the event and attend the training.
2- 120 out of the previous agreed on participating in another event concerning this topic and in collaboration with the ministry as well.
3- full appreciation on the side of the ministry for our work and methodology and they offered their full support for future activities.
4- the event is completely funded by the ministry.
5- the ministry agreed on our terms when it comes to the chosen locations to be visited, the dates of the training, the duration of the internship as well as the amount of hours required to receive a formal certificate (less than usual)

Methodology:

This one of a kind and first time activity will occur in collaboration with the Ministry Of Economy And Trade and it will revolve around their annual throughout the year professional campaign.
this campaign was already set by the ministry but it needed a higher number of skilled participants capable of being impactful and active in the practical part of this internship that is comprised of a training and several on ground visits.
1- a meeting already occurred with the head of the volunteering department in the ministry of Economy And Trade and the following points were discussed:
–number of volunteers capable of participating
–the training delivered by the minitry
–the overall process of the campaign already set by the ministry
–date and duration of the campaign
–possibility for certificates to be given to the members
–possibility of delivering our own awareness during the campaign
–possibility for other collaboration opportunities
–media coverage
–terms of participation: setting up suitable dates for training and participation, choosing up suitable locations that serve our objectives as scopheroes, decreasing the requirement for acquiring the government’s certificate.
Fortunately, all of our terms were met and agreed upon by the responsible that was thrilled to have us on board and was more than open for future joined activities and campaigns.
2- a national call was already sent for general members to enroll in the activity and fill in a form inspired by that provided by the ministry:
the form already contained details concerning the dedicated time of volunteering each person is willing to give, which area he can volunteer in, through which months and for how long—>
https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/1YrirsagEf0Y4wa02y2LL2dD5nwzRJ3gD0Fp6Jq0DSX8/edit#responses

(the OC is composed from our own motivated and interested miniEB)
3- the training by the ministry was set according to our suitable timing as med students on the 22nd and 23rd of January to be attended by all the members who registered.
4- a meeting is scheduled for all the registered members to explain the overall process of the event
5- the volunteering sheets are already organized in term of shifts to be provided to the ministry
6- set up an evaluation for the members to fill to measure the impact
7- post all the on the ground interactions on our media platform throughout the campaign.
8- setting up a future awareness event with the ministry tackling the public through media and actual events.

timeline:
this campaign will be starting after attending the 2 days training on the 22nd and 23rd of January 2018 and then the internship will continue for 6 months.
afterwards another cycle of the same campaign will be open and we will be more than glad to attend it as well as previously agreed by the ministry

Plans for evaluation:

1- a form will be sent for the members to evaluate their whole experience in the campaign at the end of internship.
2-the ministry will establish its own evaluation as well.
3-the registered students will fill another online from evaluating the info they acquired from the training.
4- the number of future events with the ministry will also reflect the success of this one since it shows what kind of motivation and interest we reached through this campaign.