Almost six thousand food vendors in the Tema Metropolis underwent medical screening in 2013 as part of measures to legitimize their businesses.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Metro Environmental Health Officer, Mr Edward Kwabla Shardey, said 5,980 vendors were screened last year representing 99.33% and 4,725 in 2012, representing 94.5%.
Mr. Shardey said 2,789 new vendors were registered and awarded medical certificates whiles 3,191 vendors renewed their medical certificates.
He noted that 116 of the vendors were referred to hospitals for re-examination on infections and conditions such as tuberculosis.
“We would register, create data base and medically screen all food vendors both old and new”, and that, “a database would be created for butchers and their assistants to ensure that they have a medical certificate before operating.”
He said the screening is done annually and certificates awarded to those who qualify, and that, the certificate could be withdrawn if a vendor tests positive for any of the conditions deemed injurious to public health.
“You would not be allowed to sell to the public if you have tuberculosis, worm infestations and typhoid.”
Mr. Shardey said a data base would soon be created for sugar cane sellers to control the sugar cane husk nuisance in the Metropolis.
The Metro Environmental Health Officer said his unit also inspects meat to be sold to the general public and sees to the daily cleaning of slaughter houses and meat shops in the Metropolis.
Mr. Shardey noted that some of the conditions they diagnose were tuberculosis and hepatitis, which mostly affected the liver and lungs, adding that, an awareness creation on hygiene practices would be intensified this year.