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UNF public health faculty serves as expert for World Health Organization

Amber Barnes Headshot

Dr. Amber Barnes, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of North Florida, was selected to serve as an expert member of the Guidance Development Group (GDG) for traditional food markets. Their first meeting was organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and took place in the Netherlands in November.  

Following approval of resolution WHA75(23) by the 75th World Health Assembly, the group’s purpose was outlined by the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety (NFS), located within the WHO’s UHC/Healthier Populations Division, to develop updated guidelines for transforming traditional food markets into healthier environments. The aim is to provide safe, culturally important and nutritious food for the community while also protecting public health from risks associated with the human-animal interface and human-to-human transmission of respiratory diseases that can occur in traditional food markets. 

As a GDG member, Barnes is appointed for two years to help support rhe WHO in providing input into the guideline's scope and in developing key questions in the PICO (population, intervention, comparator, outcome) format, choosing and ranking priority outcomes, examining the evidence used to support the recommendations and formulating recommendations in terms of direction and strength. Additionally, Barnes is responsible for reviewing the preliminary version of the recommendations in the guideline document before submitting it to WHO's executive clearance process for publication and further dissemination. 

Barnes will meet twice a year to collaborate with other members who have diverse technical knowledge, skills and experience in traditional food markets, public health issues and the human-animal interface related to food safety.