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General News of Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Source: GNA

Make Environmental Health a directorate at the national level – Association

Members of Ghana Environmental Health Officers Association Members of Ghana Environmental Health Officers Association

Isaac Ar-Eng Wakah, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Ghana Environmental Health Officers Association, has reminded the government of their call to make environmental health a Directorate at the national level and a department at the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

He said this would allow for direct budgetary and logistical allocations for environmental health services.

Mr Wakah gave the reminder when the Environmental Health Officers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) marked the 2021 World Environmental Health Day on Sunday in Accra.

It was on the theme: “Prioritising Environmental Health for Healthier Communities in Global Recovery.”

It was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, Accra Brewery, Guinness Ghana, Zoomlion, CONIWAS, and WITTIES.

The Day was instituted in 2011 by the United Nations through the International Federation of Environmental Health Council to reflect on the role of Environmental Health Practitioners.

Mr Wakah said in Ghana environmental health practice was considered an essential service, but was not given the needed recognition and resources to operate as such.

He stated that the institutional structure of environmental health was mingling between three ministries; the Ministries of Health, Sanitation and Water Resources, and Local Government and Rural Development with each playing diverse roles.

“We want to draw the attention of government to the dispersed structure of environmental health practice in Ghana and recommend the harmonisation of all the roles of the various ministries with a policy direction for its operation,” the Chairman said.

Mr Wakah called on the government to make available all the needed logistics at the MMDAs level through the appropriate ministry for easy access and prompt response to emergencies.

“Regarding our roles in the fight of the Covid-19 pandemic, so far there has been several constraints ranging from lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) in some MMDAs, delay in incentive packages and lack of vehicles, spraying machines among others.”

He said for Ghana to prioritise environmental health for communities in global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the above issues needed attention by the government and policymakers.

Mr Wakah encouraged environmental health professionals saying; “Though we are constrained logistically in the fight of this pandemic, we must however not only dwell on our challenges but be motivated by the theme that our roles in this fight is highly recognised and that motivation should push us to do more in recovering from the pandemic.

“As an Association we salute our gallant practitioners and pledge our resolve to fighting for good condition of service for our noble profession.”

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