The Environmental Health Officer Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) has expressed concern over inadequate personnel in the country saying only 7,000 officers are currently serving over 200 million Nigerians.
The National President of EHOAN, Dr Akingbehin Samuel, said this in an interview with newsmen on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Abuja.
Samuel spoke after he led the representatives of the association on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.
According to him, 7,000 EHOs are currently serving the entire population of Nigeria, which implies that one officer is serving 28,000 Nigerians. He described it as being grossly adequate.
Samuel called on the federal, state and local governments to recruit more qualified EHOs officers for effective health service delivery.
He said that available EHOs across the country had commenced sensitisation on coronavirus (COVID19).
“Our visit to the minister is to create more awareness and how to support in curtailing the faster spreading disease in the country.
“We are also visiting the NCDC and the National Assembly to create awareness and to know the level of their preparedness in curbing the disease in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking, Mr Baba Mohammed, the Director, Education and Training, Environmental Health Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), said that the council had commenced sensitisation in public places to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Mohammed said the sensitisation was in line with the Minister of Environment’s directive to reach out to the public in high risk areas across the country on how to stay free from the disease.
He called on the government at all levels to strengthen environmental health officers.
The minister had earlier in the month said that EHOs would be deployed to high risk areas in Nigeria to contain the spread of the disease.
The minister said the measure was to support the ministry of health containment strategy against COVID19.
He also said that the EHOs would be deployed to areas such as markets, schools, motor parks, train stations and that similar places would be put under surveillance.
By Francisca Oluyole