Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi File picture: Jacques Naude/ANA

Johannesburg - Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, in his capacity as the chair of SADC ministers of health, has called an extraordinary meeting to brief his counterparts on the outbreak of listeriosis in the country and the efforts made to contain it.

SADC member countries are comprised of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In a terse statement on Thursday SA health department spokesperson, Popo Maja, said after the meeting an agreed course of action to mitigate the outbreak of listeriosis in the SADC Region will be announced.

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The meeting is expected to deliberate on preventing trans-border outbreak of listeriosis.

Reports indicate that since January last year more than 900 people in South Africa have contracted listeriosis, which is caused by bacteria which can contaminate fresh food, notably meat. There have been at least 183 deaths.

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On Tuesday Namibia reported its first case of listeriosis since an outbreak erupted in South Africa. A 41-year-old man was diagnosed with the disease on Monday and was being treated in a hospital in the capital Windhoek.

Namibia and other neighbouring countries have banned South African imports of processed meat products, 

Earlier this month South Africa's health department issued a recall notice of processed meat products after the killer bacterium was traced to Enterprise factories in Polokwane and Germiston. The public was advised the public to avoid all ready-to-eat processed meat products 

African News Agency/ANA