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Stakeholders call for review of guidelines to strengthen environmental health practice

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Stakeholders call for review of guidelines to strengthen environmental health practice

Health sector stakeholders have called for the revision of draft guidelines on environmental health practice and regulation.

They made this call at a two-day stakeholder meeting hosted by the Nigerian Officers Registration Council on Monday in Abuja.

Council Secretary Dr Baba Mohammed said the revision of the draft guidelines, in addition to the 16 pre-existing ones, was critical to the practice of environmental health.

He said the meeting would simplify and develop guidelines aimed at strengthening practice using new technologies to solve identified problems and initiate viable methodologies to address environmental health problems.

“The guidelines identified as critical to the practice of environmental health will identify the problems of housing and sanitation facilities in the facilities and will cause Environmental Health Officials to use modern methods to inspect the facilities.

“Another guideline that is very critical at this time is that of public health operation, pest and vector control.

“Pests and vectors are disease transmitters; for example, malaria is known as a mosquito.

“In trying to reduce or completely eradicate malaria, it attacks mosquitoes; then the practice of environmental health is easy to see if it is working. If it is working, the disease will be drastically reduced.

“The guidelines on public health, vector and pest control will be explicit, step-by-step guidelines given the new technology that enables healthcare professionals to dramatically reduce the burden of disease,” he said.

Mohammed said the Environment Ministry had already done a lot for the number of public health officials.

He said the Council will develop the capacity of officials at the sectoral level and send them to all relevant stakeholder ministries to coordinate environmental health.

The Registrar asked state and local governments to adhere to Federal Government policies and hire health officials.

According to him, the functions of governments are to provide the necessary policies and guidelines.

In his remarks, Professor Agwu Amadi, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, said that the meeting was timely, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“The guidelines are documents that specify the step-by-step direction of the practice. It is very necessary to hire environmental officers.

“Governments must ensure the hiring of environmental health professionals at all levels,” he said.

Source: NAN

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