The Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), South West Zone, Ibadan, has said that it has come to the notice of the Association that a group of unauthorized and unlicensed organizations are carrying out fumigation exercise (disinfection and disinfestation) of premises especially in Ekiti state as well as the ugly situation that happened at Ekiti State College of Health Sciences and Technology, Ijero-Ekiti where non-professional and unqualified group, who are not registered and licensed by Federal Government Environmental regulatory body (EHORECON) and whose professional mandate does not cover disinfection and disinfestation are undertaking fumigation of Public Institutions without precautionary measures, applying unauthorized chemicals, lacking knowledge of adequate formulations, without adequate health education and awareness or mobilization and diagnosis.
This was contained in a press statement issued by Zonal President of the Association, Sanitarian ‘Tope Akinwumi, Ph.D, fwapceh, leho and the Zonal Secretary, Sanitarian Olufemi Abolade, leho and made available to journalists on Thursday.
According to the statement, “the affected organization just triggered power tender equipment (which is the only useful materials in their custody) on all beings which led to hospitalization of over 100 students. According to information, this led to the closure of the Institution by the State Governor after the students went on rampage.
” It is noteworthy that Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), the Federal Government Agency in-charge of regulating Environmental Health practice in Nigeria, at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, sought for collaboration of other Agencies such as the Nigeria Police, NSCDC, FRSC, Federal Fire Service among others while State Government equally collaborated with other stakeholders in carrying out decontamination of all public places including schools, religious organizations, social events, markets, offices across the Country.
“This was not unconnected to the emergency of the time”
“It is most unfortunate that one of such Agencies or groups, the Federal Fire Service recently took it upon herself to go out of the core mandate and vision, which is specifically to stem emergencies arising from fire incidents and drowning, to areas without official training with the level of fire incidences across the Country that the Fire Service still battles with, we couldn’t comprehend the reason for wadding into what they have no authority or training about which has led to hospitalization and embarrassment of the year to the Country”.
The EHOAN, added that, as the professional body trained, certificated, registered and licensed by Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) to undertake Integrated Pest Management and allied assignment including fumigation, ” hereby condemned the singular act of Federal Fire Service (FFS) and demand unreserved apology from the Agency under reference to Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, whose name and age – long reputation has been dragged into mud and to the good people of Nigeria.
The EHOAN, equally request further that the proposed illegal fumigation exercise possibly in other States by Federal Fire Service should be cancelled immediately by the Federal Government to avoid further ecological disruption, environmental degradation and unprofessionalism of the service across the Nation which may lead to recording more causalities and unrest.
The statement concluded that, “We wish to state clearly that whosoever wishes to disinfect, disinfect or fumigate premises should patronize registered and licensed Environmental Health Officers who are trained in the safe composition and dispensing of the approved formulation of chemicals for the exercise in accordance with the laid down rules and regulations of the land instead of quacks”.
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