JOHANNESBURG - Members countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Thursday, committed to enhance public awareness and food control systems to contain the deadly listeriosis bacteria outbreak in South Africa.
These measures includes combating possible smuggling of products from South Africa to neighbouring countries through borders. Border policing and the Department of Home Affairs would have to be on alert, said South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
The 15 countries' health ministers and ambassadors met in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg to come up with measures to combat listeria disease that has so far claimed 183 lives in South Africa. Namibia is the only second SADC country after South Africa to have a case of listeria after a 41-year-old man was diagnosed with the disease this week. He was being treated in a hospital in the capital Windhoek.
The patient's blood samples were sent from Windhoek to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg for testing, after which it was confirmed that the Namibian male patient contracted listeriosis, said Motsoaledi.