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World Consumer Rights Day for ‘Antibiotics off the Menu’

Raymonde Course, the chairperson of Natcof

World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is being celebrated today around the globe to recognise the rights of consumers.

Each year the event has a theme. This year’s theme ‘Antibiotics off the Menu’ is to raise campaign around the world for fast food companies and major international restaurant chain, to stop the sale of meat that has been raised with routine antibiotics. WCRD is calling on all its members to join the campaign.

The day is organised by Consumers International, a federation which was founded in 1960 and acts as an independent voice for all consumers, wherever they are in the world.

The World Consumer Rights Day was first observed in 1983, demanding that consumer rights are respected and protected.  The aim of the day is to celebrate solidarity within the international consumer rights movement.

The theme has been adopted worldwide and around the world the day will be marked with local initiatives, including campaigns, press conferences, workshops and street events.

As is customary, Seychelles will also be commemorating this day and various activities are on the agenda by our local National Consumers Forum (Natcof), the local consumers’ watchdog.

Natcof’s activities are being planned for the whole year focusing on this year’s theme – ‘Antibiotics off the Menu’.

Speaking to the press on the theme, Raymonde Course, the chairperson of Natcof,  said Seychelles has not been spared from sale of meat that has been raised with routine antibiotics. As we live in a global village, the country does not use only local produce as we import meat from outside. But Mrs Course also stated further research needs to be undertaken with partners involved to get concrete facts regarding this issue.

In world agriculture cultivators are injecting or using antibiotics in their production for better, faster and increased yield.

“Why this theme has been chosen is because across the world there is what is called ‘anti-biotic resistence’ where infections are resisting antibiotic treatments prescribed by doctors to people infected by a virus, a sore or any infection that requires antibiotic as a remedy,” she said.

As we are all aware antibiotics used to treat infections in patients are very important for a person’s recovery.

Mrs Course remarked that international consumers organisations are working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on a partnership campaign to try and eliminate some of the problems related to unprescribed antibiotics use which is causing resistence against prescribed ones.

Each year, Mrs Course said, Natcof uses the theme suggested by World Consumers’ Rights Day and integrates it in the Seychelles context while getting other partners involved. For this year’s theme, the Ministry of Health and the Seychelles Agricultural Agency are major partners.

Activities being organised by Natcof for the occasion include articles published in the Seychelles NATION newspaper and other programmes via other media; televised programmes; distribution of information on Facebook and on the Natcof website (www.natcof.sc);  working with WHO on the local level where posters have been given and information being published on leaflets; installation of banner in a public places.

For more information on the theme or on what Natcof is doing, consumers can either phone on 4225941 or email natcof@seychelles.net.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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