A total of 41 participants from Rendova and Munda in the Western province completed a three days training at Titiru Eco lodge, Rendova, Western Province last week.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Food Safety Unit in partnership with UN Women Markets for Change coordinated the training with Munda market association and Western Provincial Health (EHD).
The Training was made possible through the funding support from the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (through UN Women) who also supported the improvements with Munda market.
Patricia Soqoilo, Food Safety Unit, Chief Officer, Ministry of Health, explained that the training was to ensure mothers and girls know about food safety, how to maintain hygiene when preparing and handling food both at home and when selling them at the market or street.
“So basically the content of the training is mainly around understanding the important role of street food vending in the context of the Solomon Islands and how microorganism causes transmission of food-borne diseases in street food vending. It also involves understanding personal hygiene in street food preparation and applying basic principles of dangers and risks associated with street food vending amongst other topics”, outlined Mrs. Soqoilo.
She said the training is important because Munda market where most of the participants are selling their cooked food is a tourist destination area for both domestic and international travellers.
“Women will greatly benefit as this is one of the major sources of income for the rural women. Income from the food sold daily is used to meet their household needs including school fees, household goods and meeting medical expenses as most have alluded too during the workshop”, said Soqoilo.
She added the workshop helped to enhance participant’s knowledge on how to prepare and handle food in a way that prevents food becoming unsafe with potential to trigger foodborne illnesses.
“Receiving the right knowledge and applying what they gained during the three (3) days will help them and family prevent them to get sick and hospitalized”,
“It has been a wonderful feeling helping rural women who struggles to meet their need and through trainings like this it helps empower them where their only source of income is through selling of cooked food”, Soqoilo said.
The Health Chief Officer thanked UN Women Markets for Change and the funding agencies and organisations for the partnership as without them this training will not be possible.
The training was facilitated by Mr. George Titiulu, Director National Environmental Health Division, Patricia Soqoilo Food Safety Unit of MHMS, Christina Mamupio Chief Principal Health Inspector, Western Province Environmental Health and Edna Dii Ramoau of UN Women.
This is the 6th workshop held for both Gizo and Munda market.