BY LAJU ARENYEKA
The Concerned Environmental Health Graduates (CEHG) has called on the Federal Government to implement policies that help promote environmental health. The Group spokesperson, Mr. James Abraham, made this call at an event to mark the World environmental health day at the College of Health Technology in Lagos recently.
“Even if we have the best policies in the world, without proper implementation it is tantamount to having none at all. To this end, the Federal Government must familiarize itself with environmental health challenges and take appropriate steps to address them,” he said.
Continuing, Abraham said: “Besides the advice of the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) encouraging the celebration of World Environmental Health Day (WEHD) worldwide, the increased number of avoidable undesirable incidents attributable to poor sanitation makes this celebration compelling and essential. The current state of environmental heath in Nigeria leaves much to be desired. That is why necessary to employ environmental health officials who are armed with the complex knowledge to provide viable solutions to these emerging and reemerging challenges. These professionals are needed to provide and maintain the desired health-supportive environment through actions in detecting public health nuisances.”
Expounding on these challenges, the CEHG spokesperson noted that while developing countries like Nigeria are still struggling to address the existing environmental health problems, new challenges and risks are emerging which require complex solutions. He added: “The causes of these can be traced to advances in technology, population growth, increase in industrialization, and climate change.”
One of such challenges, he argued, was the collapse of houses/building both existing and those under construction are gradually becoming an epidemic in Lagos State. The first storey building in our country is still in Badagry sound and strong. Records of avoidable building collapse, killing people and damaging properties within the state are due to deviation from standard practices.
To nib this menace in the bud, there should be a re-introduction of professional synergy amongst the Environmental Health Officers, Civil Engineers and the Town Planners to ensure strict adherence to various buildings laws/regulations. There should also be constant monitoring of manufacturers of building materials.”
Also speaking at the event, the Student Union President of the College of Health, Mr. Moses Onolapo admonished graduates and students alike to be worthy ambassadors of their profession. His words: “We must learn to promote further the aims and objectives of our profession. We must further enlighten those on the outside about the essence of environmental health.”