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Regional News of Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Source: GNA

1,500 environmental health graduates waiting for posting

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More than 1,500 Environmental Health Graduates still waiting for posting by Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, four years after graduation.

In a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday the Coalition of Concern Environmental Health Graduates expressed concern about the delay in posting 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 graduates.

The health officers are trained to enforce sanitation laws and educate people on measures to prevent sanitation and hygiene related diseases.

The statement signed by Mr Prince Dzramado and Mr Simon Akormedi Executive Members of the Coalition explained that the environmental health officers are certified after passing the respective Licensure examinations by Ghana Health Examination Board .

The statement said upon certification, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has a mandatory responsibility to absorb them into the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department.

The environmental health graduates are products from the three Schools of Hygiene established by the Government through the Ministry of Health with core mandate of training professional environmental health officers.

The statement described the situation as failure on governmental institutions fulfilling mandatory responsibility.

“It is difficult to understand that after committing huge sum of tax payers money about GH¢10,000.00 per trainee into training us, the Government has decided to waste this money, our skills and knowledge by keeping us unemployed whilst these tax payers need us in the various communities for preventive services,” the statement said.

The group said undoubtedly, Ghana has failed to attain the Millennium

Development Goals in 2015, particularly, goal seven on Sanitation which has ranked Ghana among the bottom five worst performing countries globally.

It’s clear that Ghana is in sanitation crisis and the eradication of the nation’s “annual plague” (cholera epidemics) among other sanitation and hygiene related diseases is a mirage if the problem is not exigently addressed.

The government among other stakeholders is oblivious about happenings in the Environmental Health Sector especially regarding the current abysmal status of the officer to citizen ratio in Ghana which currently stands at an officer to about 7,357 instead of an officer to 500.

Government has done little to provide the needed logistics and an enabling environment to complement effective enforcement of sanitation laws.

According to the statement Ghana could save about GH? 420 million annually if there is a general improvement in environmental conditions through enforcement of sanitary laws and effective hygiene promotion in effect to promote and prolong good health.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure hence the existence of a formidable preventive health mechanism can contribute to the following among a lot to be achieved.”

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