Diseases from food does not only cost Nigerians their health, it carries heavy financial burden.

According to a report by World Bank, Nigeria and other low-income and middle-income countries across the world, especially in Africa and Asia, spend $110 billion, about 3.3 trillion naira in lost productivity and medical expenses in treating illnesses arising from unsafe food.

In a statement on the report made available to newsmen on Wednesday, the World Bank said that the new study found that the impact of unsafe food costs low and middle-income economies about $110 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses each year.

It added that a large proportion of the costs could be avoided by adopting preventive measures that improve how food was being handled from the farm to the fork.

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Better managing the safety of food will also significantly contribute to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals, especially those relating to poverty, hunger and well-being, the bank said.

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“Food-borne diseases caused an estimated 600 million illnesses and 420,000 premature deaths in 2010, according to the World Health Organisation.

“This global burden of food-borne disease is unequally distributed. Relative to their population, low- and middle-income countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa bear a proportionately high burden.

“They account for 41% of the global population, yet 53% of all food-borne illness and 75% of related deaths,” the bank’s statement said.

It added that “unsafe food threatens young children the most: although children under five make up only 9% of the world’s population, they account for almost 40% of food-borne disease and 30% of related deaths”.

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