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									Structural Reform for Improved Environmental Health
Practices in Nigeria
Aniefiok Moses, FRSH, fseh, MEM

     Environmental health (EH) is a science that deals with life and living. As a science and art that aims
to tame the environment for the survival of human race, and for sustainable development, EH practice
has a unique role in human existence and development. No wonder countries with deep knowledge of the
impact of environmental factors on health and development, harnessed resources to put structures in
place for effective control of environmental health factors in a well-planned and coordinated manner.
History and Development of Environmental Health Practice in
Nigeria

Aniefiok Moses, FRSH, fseh, MEM
     The history of and the development of Environmental Health are unique and complex in every country
of the world. It is not possible to assign a specific date from which problems relating to environment
started. However, the need to control the environment in the interest of public health has been evolving
for a long time. For convenience, it has been possible to divide the evolution of environmental health
control into four time zone in which time can be assigned. First, the agricultural revolution following
Malthus observation (1750-1850). The period was characterized by low living standard among the
farmers who lived in overcrowded damped houses, bearing large number of children, and eating poor
diet. There was also marked increase in the number and incidences of diseases and deaths, poor
domestic environment and low life expectancy. Second is the industrial revolution of 1850-1900, which
witnessed the beginning of industrial pollution as a result of using rudimentary machines and
unprocessed toxic substances for industrial processes. The third is the period between 1900 and 1945,
while the fourth is 1945 to the present date.
       Welcome Address by HRH (Alhaji) Yunusa Muhammadu
Danyaya (Emir of Ningi) and Chairman Environmental Health Officers
Registration Council of Nigeria during Conference Opening Ceremony

    It is with great pride and great joy that I welcome you all to this occasion, which is the first ever
stakeholders conference on Environmental Health in Nigeria. This conference is being organized jointly
by the Council in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment.
    Environmental health practice in Nigeria has a proud history because its practitioners (the Sanitary
Inspectors or Health Inspectors), during the colonial and immediately after the colonial era in Nigeria
were responsible for the successes recorded in the fight against such diseases as small pox, yaws and
drastic reduction of malaria and other mosquito borne diseases during that era. After independence, the
nation neglected environmental health and the result is what obtains in our environment today.
    This present administration in its determination to improve environmental health has recognised it as
                                                                                                        th
a profession through Act 11 of 2002 while the Council established by that Act was inaugurated on the 15
of March 2004 with the mandate to register Environmental Health Officers and regulate environmental
health profession. This has not been an easy task as many of the services which constitute environmental
health practice have not taken off in the country while others have been taken over by quacks, to the
detriment of the nation.
    Opening Remarks by Alhaji Abdul Malik Mahmood (Baraden
        Katogun), the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, and
              Chairman of the Opening Ceremony
      It gives me a great pleasure to chair this epoch making event. This is a vindication of those of us
who are of the firm believe that for the health condition of our people to improve, there must be a dramatic
improvement in the environmental health services of the nation.
      It is a known fact regularly stated by various experts including our development partners that over
70% of diseases causing the greatest morbidity and mortality among our population are those that are
environment related. The situation we find our selves in Nigeria today is a similar situation which existed
                    th
in Europe in the 17 century, during the beginning of the industrial revolution. In that era, such diseases
like cholera, typhoid and other communicable diseases held sway in England and other European
countries. This resulted in the 1842 Edwin Chadwick’s Poor Law Commission which enquired into the
sanitary condition of the labouring classes, in Great Britain. The report of the Commission highlighted the
association between the general environment of the dreadful living conditions of the poor and the
                                                                   st
development of illness. This report led to the enactment of the 1 Public Health Act of 1848 in Britain and
subsequently, the beginning of environmental health profession.
      Goodwill Message from Mr. Tegegnekwork Gettu, the
      Resident Representative United Nation Development
        Program (UNDP), during the Opening Ceremony
                                                 st
     I feel greatly honoured to address this 1 National Stakeholders’ Conference on Environmental
Health Practice in Nigeria and induction of registered Environmental Health Officers at which the draft
National Environmental Health practices Regulation is also to be reviewed.
     Environmental health comprises those elements of human health and quality of life that are
determined by physical, biological, chemical, as well as social elements in the environment. It also
relates to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the
human environmental that can potentially impact adversely on the health of present and future
generations. The environment in which we live form or life-support system, and is fundamental to human
health and indispensable to the well-being of all people on earth. The importance of the link between the
environment and human health can hardly be over emphasized. Environmental factors play a very
important role in disease and death among humans. For example diarrhoea, caused by unsafe water,
inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, account for 15 – 28 percent of child deaths annually. Malaria is
responsible for about 205 million deaths every year, mostly among young children. Pneumonia which
has been closely associated with exposure to indoor smoke resulting from cooking with biomass fuels are
the leading cause of death for children below five years of age. All of these underscore the need for us to
take actions and engage in activities that protects the environment, in order to ultimately safeguard
human health. This has in fact influenced UNDP’s developmental activities worldwide.




    Elimination of Slums/Squatter Settlements – The Federal
                   Capital Territory Experience
                                             (Lead Paper)
                                 Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i,
      Hon. Minister Federal Capital Administration and Guest of Honour at the Conference

     I am privileged to address this historic gathering of professionals whose practice is directly related to
the mandate of the present administration to ensure that the Federal Capital city is preserved for the
future generation. The Environmental Health Profession has a history. It is common knowledge that your
professional in-put to sanitise the Nigerian environment has promoted healthy living for many generations
in the past. Your task is an onerous one and needs to be well articulated to make an impact in the health
of the community where it is practiced. I want to use this opportunity to commend the efforts of Senator
Tafida Dahaltu, the Majority Leader of the Upper House of our National Assembly who ensured that you
are legally empowered just like the sanitary inspectors of the colonial days.




Keynote Address by Chief (Mrs.) Helen Esuene - Honourable
             Minister of Environment, during
            Conference Opening Ceremony
     I feel highly gratified to witness this event today. This conference on Environmental Health, which is
jointly organised by my Ministry and the Environmental Health Officers’ Registration Council of Nigeria, is
the first of its kind in Nigeria. The dynamism of the Council which is ably chaired by Emir of Ningi, HRH
(Alhaji) Yunusa Muhammadu Danyaya is commendable.
     There is no doubt that the Nigerian environment has suffered serious neglect during the past 30
years, as the Environmental Health Officers (former Sanitary Inspectors) were gradually given a back
seat. It is also a fact that our population has grown tremendously and the country has also witnessed
more industrial and commercial activities during this period. These together with the absence of the
active services of Environmental Health Officers resulted in serious environmental degradation and
pollution that we experience all around us. With the creation of the Federal Ministry of Environment in
1999 by this administration, hope of a better environment was re-born. The credit for this visionary step
goes to His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
GCFR. Leadership we know drives policy, people, and resources through processes to achieve results.
This conference is on of such processes.




   Vote of Thanks Moved by Aniefiok Moses, Chairman –
 Conference Planning Committee, at the End of the Opening
               Ceremony of the Conference
It gives me great pleasure to move this vote of thanks at end of the opening ceremony of this 2-day
National Stakeholders Conference on Environmental Health practice in Nigeria.

Environmental health has ready come a long and has finally arrived with its new status in Nigeria. Indeed
what our forefathers took over from the Colonial masters and practiced in a rudimentary form has now
been given scientific touch and a professional recognition in Nigeria. Therefore creating a forum for
stakeholders to discuss its status and the way forward is not only heartwarming, but also very historic. We
give the Almighty God the glory and thank Him for making a day like this possible for the overall well-
being of Nigerians.
     An Overview of the Draft National Environmental Health
                      Practice Regulations
                                 Aniefiok Moses, FRSH, fseh, MEM
                    Dept of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja

         Environmental Health (EH) is a regulated field everywhere in the world. EH regulation is hinged
on peculiarity of environmental factors, prevalence of diseases and their predisposing factors, people’s
habit and the level of development in such countries. In Nigeria, EH regulation followed the pattern set by
the British. As far back as 1848, Britain took steps to address her EH problems through the enactment of
the Public Health Act, 1848. The Act was an outcome of Edwin Chadwick Poor Labour Commission,
which considered the living conditions of the labouring class in 1842. The report of the Commission
highlighted the poor environmental health conditions, which often led to outbreak of several
communicable diseases with high morbidity and mortality. The people lived in overcrowded damped
houses, bore large number of children, and ate poor diet. There was also increase number and
incidences of diseases and deaths, poor domestic environment and low life expectancy. The report,
which enquired into these sanitary conditions, also recognized the association between the general
environment of the dreadful living conditions of the poor and the development of illness. It is the strong
and enforceable regulations on EH that strengthened the health system in Britain and elsewhere in the
world with long life expectancy and improved quality of life.
         This general environmental consciousness characterized EH services during and the immediately
post-colonial era in Nigeria. The level of sanitary regulations and their enforcement led to the control,
elimination and eradication of some communicable diseases in Nigeria, including yaws and small pox.
Today there appears to have been a general despondency over EH matters, as the whole field suffered
criminal neglect until 2002, when the present government enacted the Environmental Health Officers
(Registration, etc) Act, which formally granted legal recognition to EH as a profession in Nigeria.




     Public-Private Sector Mix In Efficient Environmental Health
                          Services In Nigeria
                                      Nurudeen O. Adedipe
        Visiting Professor (Capacity Building), National Universities Commission, Abuja




       Challenges of Environmental Health and the Way Forward

                        Peter Abiodun Bamigboye, M.Sc, B.Sc, DPH, FRSH
                   Community Health Department, Faculty of Clinical Sciences
                           Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,

Introduction
     Environmental factors play important role in health status and disease condition among the
population. Of particular concern are children and other high risk group. Scientists have long worked to
understand the human environment and its implication on health. The search for this knowledge
continues to increase as rapid population growth and economic activities intensify their stresses on the
biosphere and the ecosystems. Rapid increases in scientific capability—such as recent advances in
computing power, molecular biology and new techniques for sensing biological, physical, and chemical
phenomena below, and above the Earth's surface—together with the rediscovery of the man-environment
relationship as a critical issue makes it possible for science to provide much of this knowledge. Therefore
scientific understanding of the complex environmental systems and human

interaction make the environmental sciences central to the challenge to sustainable relationship between
man and earth’s natural resources.




Evolution of Environmental Health and Emerging Challenges:
                  The Role of Practitioners
                                    Mynepali K. C. Sridhar
                              Professor of Environmental Health
                     Division of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health,
                          College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
                                  Contact: mkcsridhar@yahoo.com
Abstract

    Evolution of environmental health is more than two hundred years old. Through the timeline, the
    earlier concerns on the communicable diseases due to polluted water and poor housing and
    sanitation have drifted to more complex chemical pollution, contamination of water and food, air
    pollution, and industrial disasters. Some of the newer challenges include hitherto unnoticed or
    less suspected bacteria, protozoa, HIV/AIDS, avian flu and their relation to poor hygiene and
    sanitation or inadequate waste management practices. Newer monitoring tools, technologies and
    procedures have become challenges for the environmental practitioners. Environmental Health
    Officers in particular have to be geared to meet such challenges and implement national edicts
    and guidelines in protecting the environment and safeguarding the health of the communities.




   The Challenges Faced by Environmental Health Practitioners in
                             Nigeria

                                  Aniefiok Moses, FRSH, fseh, MEM
               Department of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja.


Introduction
                                                                                                       49
Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2


    Environmental health as a service                    profession is human focused and human
directed. The aim is to prevent diseases,                prolong life and promote health through
organized efforts of the society. In Nigeria, the recognized core service providers in this field are the
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), the Environmental Health Technicians, the Environmental
Health Assistants; and of course, the Sanitary Engineers. The second group consists of persons who
have specific function(s) that relate to environmental health profession, but are not the core
professionals. These group may include Public Health Physicians; Public Health Veterinarians; Civil,
Chemical and Mechanical Engineers; Town Planners; Chemists; Biologists; Ecologists; Health
Promotion Officers and Bahavioural Scientists; Microbiologists; Public Health Laboratory Scientists
and Lawyers. All these personnel have some limited responsibility over the planning, organization,
coordination, supervision and evaluation of environmental health services. However, the EHO has the
overall responsibilities over environmental health matters, and is expected to have sufficient skills and
general competence to be able to plan and coordinate activities between different professional
disciplines, official agencies and authorities, and also able to function as a generalist across the range
                        1, 2, 3
of professional areas           .
    Recently, some people who are or intending to practice the profession but rather illegally has
used the word ―practitioners‖ with personal interpretation to mean persons with interest in or allied to
the profession. For the avoidance of doubt, the Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary (1993)
defines practitioner as a person who practices a profession legally. In Nigeria, the federal government
who has the statutory and constitutional responsibility over professional matters has described
professionals in terms of training and job specification through the various enabling Acts that
established their regulatory bodies and the schemes of service. Therefore, environmental health
practitioners are persons who have undergone specified course of training and are legally registered
to practice environmental health profession. This explanation has become necessary to establish the
direction of my discussion on this wide subject - the challenge faced by environmental health
practitioners in Nigeria.




           A Communiqué Issued at the End of a Two-Day National
Stakeholders’ Conference on Environmental Health Practice in Nigeria, Held in
             Abuja Sheraton Hotel & Towers, 25 & 26 April 2006
                   st
1. A two-day 1 national conference on environmental health practice in Nigeria was organized by
Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), in collaboration with the
Federal Ministries of Environment, Health, and other stakeholders. The theme of the conference was
                                                          st
Environmental Health Practice in Nigeria in the 21 Century: the Challenges and the way
forward”; and the objectives were:
 To sensitize and solicit public participation in Environmental Health matters.
 To develop a structure for putting Environmental Health on the national agenda.
 To highlight the potentials of employment and revenue generation from a well coordinated
    Environmental Health services in Nigeria.
2. More than 2000 participants attended the conference. Among the top government functionaries that
attended were the Hon. Minister of Environment, who also represented Mr. President, Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo, GCFR, who declared the conference open, the Vice President, Alh Atiku Abubakar, GCFR,
who participated in the second day activities and also declared the conference close; Governors of
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Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2

Bauchi, Kano, Rivers, Ebonyi and Gombe states; Hon. Ministers of Health, Federal Capital Territory
Administration and Hon. Minister of State for Transport; State Commissioners for Health and
Environment; Local Government Chairmen, Supervisory Counsellors, and other Local Government
functionaries; UNDP and other International Development partners; Federal and State Permanent
Secretaries, Directors and other Local Government Area (LGA) top functionaries; the Oil & Gas
Companies; Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) from Federal, Service and Security Agencies,
States and LGAs; the Academia; Professional Bodies; Private Sector Organizations; Non-
governmental Organizations; and the Media, also attended the conference.
3. During the conference, papers were presented on topical issues in various segments of
Environmental Health. Some companies exhibited various products on environmental health; while
the Environmental Health Practice Regulations (EHPR) were reviewed and adopted. Also, during the
conference, eighteen personalities and organizations including the President, the Vice President, a
Senator, Governors, etc were honoured for their various contributions to the development of
environmental health in Nigeria. Two thousand seven hundred and forty-nine (2,749) registered EHOs
swore to the oath of professional ethics and were inducted into the profession during the conference.
4. The conference noted with deep concern:
 a) The general neglect of environmental health by various governments over the years, which has
      resulted in the deplorable state of our environment and environmental health services and the
      continuous increase in the prevalence of environment related diseases with attendant high
      morbidity and mortality, which have continued to impact negatively on our health indices,
      including high infant mortality rate, high maternal mortality rate and low life expectancy.
 b) The non-compliance with relevant laws and regulations by various organizations and individuals,
      which has resulted in haphazard implementation and enforcement of environmental health
      standards; involvement of non-professionals in environmental health matters and the creation of
      multiple agencies to dabble into environmental health matters, without recourse to the core
      professionals and the regulatory body.
 c) The acute shortage of EHOs in the country, which has hampered their effectiveness in the
      monitoring, inspection and enforcement of environmental health standards, laws and regulations.
 d) The Obsolete 1958 colonial Public Health Law, still applicable in environmental health control in
      Nigeria, which has hindered effective control and enforcement of environmental health
      measures.
                                                                                                        st
 e) That out of the 76 universities in the country, none is offering environmental health at the 1
      (BSc) degree level, which is contributing immensely to the slow space of development of the
      profession.
 f) The deplorable state of EHOs’ training institutions all over the country in terms of personnel,
      equipment, library and other facilities, which constitute a big challenge to the production of high
      calibre officers that should be able to meet the modern environmental health challenges.
 g) The lack of appropriate environmental health equipment and funds for effective implementation
      of environmental health programmes is a major set back to effective environmental health
      programmes.
 h) The general negative attitude of the public to environmental health matters, particularly the habit
      of indiscriminate dumping of wastes, lack of support for environmental health programmes and
      EHOs, etc was depreciating every gain achieved in attempts to change the status of
      environmental health in Nigeria.
5. At the end of all the activities and deliberations, the conference resolved and recommended that:
    i.     The National Assembly should as matter of urgency, pass the Environmental Health Control
           and Enforcement Bill now before it to address the Environmental Health problems in the
           country.
    ii.    The Federal, State and Local Government should put in place necessary mechanisms for
           effective implementation of the National Environmental Sanitation Policy. Respective states
           and local government areas are expected to create department of environmental health to
           be headed by registered EHOs to coordinate this implementation.
    iii. The Hon. Minister of Environment should take necessary steps to sign the adopted
           Environmental Health Practice Regulations (EHPR) and set up machinery for it proper
           enforcement so as to reposition the profession for the emerging challenges.
    iv. The Federal, State, and Local Government should take necessary steps to train and recruit
           more EHOs to meet the World Health Organization’s recommended standard ratio of
           1:8,000 EHO to populations.
    v.     The current move by the Federal Ministry of Environment to create an agency to enforce
           environmental standards should recognise EHOs as major Stakeholders in keeping with the
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Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2

           relevant provisions of existing Laws. Therefore EHOs and indeed the Council should be
           involved in the drafting of the Bill.
     vi. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) should ensure that the headship of the Primary Health
           Care (PHC) department of the various Local Government Areas continue to be the most
           senior member of the PHC team, as contained in the present scheme of service for local
           government employees.
     vii. The National University Commission and the various universities should take necessary
           steps to ensure the establishment and early take off of the BSc degree programme in
           environmental health so as to produce adequate manpower for the profession. Similarly,
           states that are yet to upgrade their Schools of Health Technology to College of Health
           Technology in line with National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) requirements should
           do so without further delay in order to meet the environmental health manpower needs of
           the country. Also, proprietors of these institutions should take urgent steps to upgrade the
           quality of academic staff and teaching facilities.
     viii. Federal Government should put in place a separate salary structure for EHOs taking into
           cognisance the peculiarity of environmental health functions and responsibilities in line with
           what obtains globally.
     ix. All tiers of government should involve EHOs in building plans approval as was the case in
           the colonial and immediate post colonial era so as to ensure that such plans conform to
           environmental health and sanitary standards as contained in the various Public Health Laws
           and the housing policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  6. The conference noted with appreciation the concern shown by the present government and her
  determination to improve environmental health practice in Nigeria through the establishment of the
  Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria and approving the National
  Environmental Sanitation Policy and Guidelines. To this end, the conference thank the National
  Assembly for enacting the Environmental Health Officers (Registration, etc) Act of 2002, which
  created the Council to regulate environmental health profession in Nigeria; Mr. President, Chief
  Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, for accenting to the Bill to become an Act and for participating at the
  conference through the Hon. Minister of Environment, Chief (Mrs.) Helen Esuene. The Conference
  also thank the Governors, Hon. Ministers, Hon. Commissioners, representative of major oil
  companies, other dignitaries and stakeholders who participated at the conference, for their
  contributions and continuous support for the development of environmental health in Nigeria.
                                                              Signed


Sunday Ojewale                                                                                Augustine Ebisike
Council Member & Chairman,                                                                    Secretary/Registrar
Communiqué Drafting Committee                                                                 EHORECON
                                                            26 April 2006




   A SURVEY OF GEOHELMINTH OVA AND LARVAE ON VEGETABLES
        AND FRUITS SOLD IN ONITSHA, SOUTHEAST NIGERIA.

                                  * James Ikechukwu Mbanugo, B.Sc. M.P.H., PH.D.;
                                                 MNSP, MNES, MSOSEH, MAPHA
                             ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
                                           AND PARASITOLOGY

       Department of Parasitology & Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria


                                            Veronica Ebere Nwuche,           B.SC.
       Department of Parasitology & Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

                                   *         To whom all correspondence should be addressed
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Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2

Abstract

     A survey of vegetables and fruits sold in Onitsha markets, Southeast Nigeria was assessed
     with regard to their contamination by ova and larvae of geohelminths between October and
     December, 2004. The vegetables and fruits were bought from the sellers and examined for
     helminth ova and larvae using formal-ether concentration technique. Of the 200 samples of
     fruits and vegetables examined, 27 (13.5%) were positive for helminth ova and larvae with the
     vegetables (17.0%) being more contaminated than the furits (10.0%), but the difference was
     not statistically significant (P>.0.05). The contamination rates of helminth ova and larvae
     found are: Ascaris lumbricoides (8.0%), Trichuris trichiura (2.0%) and hookworm spp. (3.5%).
     The difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). Amongst the vegetables surveyed,
     Letuca sativa had the highest contamination rate of 40% while Telferiria occidentalis had the
     least (7.5%). Amongst the fruits, Citrus sinensis had the highest contamination rate (20.0%)
     while Carica papaya was uncontaminated. There were more contaminations of the fruits and
     vegetables bought from Ose market, than other markets, however, the difference was not
     statistically significant (P>0.05).The public health implications of these findings underscore
     the need to promote health education on the mode of transmission of helminthic infections,
     environmental sanitation and eating habits.
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Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2

  Welcome Address by HRH (Alhaji) Yunusa Muhammadu Danyaya
    (Emir of Ningi) and Chairman Environmental Health Officers
       Registration Council of Nigeria, during the Induction
                         Ceremony of EHOs
     Today is a special day in the history of the Environmental Health profession in Nigeria. This is
because the Council is inducting the first set of Environmental Health Officers in Nigeria into the
profession. The development of environmental health has had a challenging history. As far back as
        th
the 18 century the Colonial government took the issue of preventive health services very serious
because of the need to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, which was a major killer of the colonial
officials. They introduced the then Sanitary Inspectors to the colony of Lagos. The position of the
Sanitary Officer was a very top position in the then Colonial government. That was why the Senior
Municipal Sanitary Officer was statutorily made a member of the Legislative Council in 1934 on the
amalgamation of both the Southern and Northern Protectorates of Nigeria. Unfortunately, it has taken
the profession over one hundred years to attain professional status in Nigeria.
     As professionals this Council expects you to act like one and bring your professional training to
bear on the myriad of environmental health problems facing the nation. The Council is also expecting
you to become employers of labour by providing services in the various areas of environmental health
practice such as sanitary inspection of premises, public health pest control, cleaning services, waste
collection and transportation, etc. The Council is looking forward to Registered Environmental Health
Officers pulling their resources together to establish corporate organisations which would apply to the
Council for recognition to provide environmental health services thereby playing supportive roles to
Government’s efforts in a good environmental health services delivery to the citizenry.




         Keynote Address by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCFR,
        the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and
        Special Guest of Honour at the Induction Ceremony
Protocol
                                                                            st
     It gives me great pleasure to address this gathering today at this 1 induction ceremony for
registered Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) in Nigeria. This event is unique in many respects as
Environmental Health is now a recognised profession in Nigeria. Also it is the first time that EHOs
would gather to pledge to abide with ethical code of conduct for the profession.
     The Sanitary Inspector or the Health Inspector as they were then known or Environmental Health
Officers as they are now called have attained several transformations over the years. However, their
effectiveness became reduced due to the neglect of environmental health services by previous
governments.
     Older generation of Nigerians will remember the commitment and output of your predecessors
during the colonial and post colonial in our history. I believe that this is the reason why many
Nigerians have continued to clamour for the re-introduction of this cadre of professionals. The
relevance of sanitary inspection in preventive health is paramount for the improved health of all
Nigerians. This government is determined to review environmental health services in a regulated
manner to ensure optimal health for Nigerians, improve aesthetic status of our environment and
enhance tourism potentials and job creation. In this vain, this administration has steadily committed
itself to structural reforms in the environment sector, including environmental health. In 1999, the
government took a holistic look at the sector and decided to create the Federal Ministry of
Environment by merging various other government agencies that have relationship with the sector.
This was done to streamline their activities and harness their synergy.
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Journal of Environmental Health; June 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2

								
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