Some residents of Abuja on Tuesday called on the government at all levels to revive the waning services of the environmental health officers to enhance the citizens’ well-being.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that the filthy surroundings of most communities necessitated the reintroduction of environmental health officers or public health inspectors to inspect houses, offices and company premises.
Mr Idris Sulaiman, a resident of Kubwa, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said that he had never witnessed the presence of environmental health officers in his neighbourhood for the past 15 years he had been living there.
He, therefore, called for the revival of public health inspection services so as to make the environment clean and healthy for human habitation.
Suleiman recalled that in the past, people often scampered to clean their houses and premises whenever they got information that environmental health officers would be visiting their neighbourhoods.
Mrs Grace Afolabi, a resident of Karmo in FCT, said that even though environmental health officers still existed; they were not performing as they did in the past.
She urged the three tiers of government to employ more environmental health officers as their services required more hands on the job.
“I think there is need to increase the number of these environmental health officers because they are very few in the service,’’ she said.
Mr Ifeanyi Chukwudi, a resident of Mpape, FCT, said that if governments revived the services of public health officers, it would aid efforts to tackle the perennial menace of erosion and flood.
Chukwudi said in the past, residents used to clear drains, under the supervision of environmental health officers so as to prevent flood during the rainy season.
He stressed that the usefulness of environmental health officers in communities could not be over-emphasised.
NAN reports that Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are responsible for carrying out measures for protecting public health, including administering and enforcing legislation related to environmental health, while providing support to minimise health and safety hazards.
They are involved in a variety of activities such as inspecting food facilities, investigating public health problems and implementing disease control measures.
Environmental health professionals are usually employed by local government councils or state health authorities to promote and enforce public health standards.