ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS IN NIGERIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY: ADVOCACY AND RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS
Healthy environment is important for the well-being of mankind and environmental factors play a crucial role in the spread of diseases, especially in the 21st century. Environmental health officers are stakeholders in this regard and in the sustainable development goals. This paper discussed the interplay between the environment and health, the importance of environmental officers in Nigeria and factors that influence their activities. A narrative review was carried out using secondary data from various databases and organizational websites. In Nigeria, an environmental health officer must be registered with the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) in line with Act 11, of 2002 and requires investigative, analytical, communicative and educational skills, among others to function effectively. They are important stakeholders in environmental issues with roles in sanitary inspection of premises, prevention and control of diseases, disasters, antimicrobial resistance, food hygiene and safety, ecological health, planetary health and environmental impact assessment, among others. The challenges they face during their work include lack of enabling laws to deter defaulters, shortage of manpower, poor knowledge and access to various standardized tools, among others. The role of environmental health officers cannot be over-emphasized, especially in this 21st century. However, these professionals need to think outside the ‘box’ to address arising challenges.
Copyright (c) 2023 Joshua, Nmadu, Usman, Nwankwo, Woje, Akabe & Dahiru
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