FG to recruit 490 health officers.

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IN order to combat Ebola virus disease, the Federal Government on Wednesday assured Nigerians that it would recruit 490 trained environmental health officers, who will be deployed to borders as part of strategies being employed to fight the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.

The government also pledged to educate people on how to prevent
the spread of the disease and other related diseases in the
country.

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.

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She, however, called on Nigerians to cooperate with the
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-emphasised.

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He said that the cadre of professionals hold the key to the
prevention of transmitted and communicable diseases including
the protection of aesthetics of the environment.

He, however, advocated a national health policy and strategy
which should emphasise 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.

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He said, “Now that we have Ebola epidemic in our hands, we
should not allow what happened in the malaria control happen,
instead, we should have Ebola control.”