Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Laraba-Mallam, gave this hint at the inauguration of the 11-member Board of the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria in Abuja.
The minister said President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had made some money available for that purpose and that he had also set up a committee on the same issue.
She however called on Nigerians to co-operate with government and be conscious of their environment, adding that as Nigerians, “we have to keep our environment healthy and clean at all time.”
Laraba-Mallam explained that the importance of the environmental health officer as a preventive health worker is accepted globally.
She said, “The inauguration was coming up at a time when improvement in various components of environmental health is of utmost public concern due mainly to the abysmal situation of such public concerns in areas like waste management, global warming, climate change, poverty alleviation and general environmental protection.”
Chairman of the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria who was also the former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi noted that the importance of environmental health especially in this era of emerging new diseases cannot be over emphasized.
He said that the cadre of professionals hold the key to the prevention of transmitted and communicable diseases including the protection of aesthetics of our environment.
He, however, advocated a nation’s health policy and strategy which should emphasize preventive health care and relevance of the environmental health professionals especially the environmental health officers.
Afolabi therefore, charged members of the profession “to rededicate themselves and carry on their duties with honour, dignity and integrity.”
The Registrar, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria, Mr. Augustine Ebisike bemoaned a situation whereby water was being passed directly into the streams which should be a concern to all.
He said, “Now that we have Ebola epidemic in our hands, we should not allow what happened in malaria control happen, instead, we should have Ebola control.”