By Daniel Ayantoye
Following the marking of the World Health Day last week, health officers have up scaled efforts to tackle diseases such as Lassa fever and other communicable diseases in Kwara State.
The health officers under the aegis of Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) in commemoration of the day filed out en mass on Lassa fever awareness campaign and environmental sanitation at major markets in Ilorin, the state capital.
Speaking at a seminar organised on Tuesday, the President of the association, Comrade Towoju Gabriel emphasised the need for the public to maintain a clean environment.
He lamented the reoccurrence of diseases claimed to have been eradicated.
He said it is the responsibility of the public to engage in activities that would promote, protect and preserve reoccurrence of diseases.
While appreciating the state government for the employment of some environmental health technicians early this year, Gabriel emphasised that the state is still below standard provided by World Health Organisation (WHO).
“This call becomes expedient because by WHO’s standard, 1,600 officers and men are required to inspect all premises in the nooks and crannies of the state but we are less than 500 in both the state and local government services,” he said.
Gabriel however charged environmental health officers in the state to continue to work in unity of purpose in carrying out their duties.
While speaking on the topic; ‘Emergence and re-emergence of communicable and non-communicable diseases’, the guest speaker, Dr. Henry Sawyer of the Kwara State University, Malete, stated that government should continued to place priority to health related matters.
“In the case of reoccurrence of Lassa fever, it is due to poor sanitation as it is obvious that rat has been with us long before now.
“If we fail to take proactive measures, I will tell you that we will be coming back here next year to talk about the emergence of another disease that should be long gone,” he added.
Meanwhile the state Commissioner for Environment and Forestry, Otunba Taiwo Joseph has reinstated government’s commitment towards ensuring a healthy environment in the state.