Experts in the field of environmental health have expressed concern over possible shortage of environmental health officer tutors, which could be a major setback to not just to the physical environment but also human health in Nigeria.
The experts raised the alarm during the 45th Founder’s Day and Graduation Ceremony of Environmental Health Officer Tutors at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
Mrs Bukola Mustapha, the Head of School, Federal Training Centre for Teachers of Health Science, UCH, said that urgent action needed to support the training environmental health officer tutors to prevent a shortage of environmental health professionals in the country.
According to her environmental health professionals are very important and always play major role in disease outbreak response.
“This training is very important because we are the trainer of trainers, without manpower how do we train environmental health officers and prevent the dearth of environmental health professionals.
“Recall that Environmental Health Tutors cadre was in the Scheme of Service alongside Primary Healthcare Tutors and Nurse Tutors.
“Regrettably, Environmental Health Tutors are no longer in the current edition of the Scheme of Service.
“We use this opportunity to solicit for your support to reinstate Environmental Health Tutors back into the Scheme of Service.
“This will not only make our graduates employable by both the State and the Federal Governments but will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the training.
“I congratulate the graduates of today and also commend them for their efforts and perseverance to be part of today’s graduation ceremony.
“I am happy to inform you that with today’s graduation, the school has successfully trained 929 Environmental Health Officer Tutors since inception,” she said.
On his part, Dr Uzo Osuala, a former Registrar of West Africa Health Examinations Board, said that called for the autonomy of the training institute and the expansion of its courses.
Osuala said that more people would come to embrace the programme if adequate support a.d incentive is given towards the training of the tutors.
Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director, UCH, charged the graduands to be build upon the solid foundation laid for them by their predecessors.
Otegbayo, represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Abiodun Adeoye, said that
environmental health professionals were important to helping individuals and communities to stay safe and well by protecting them from threats to their health and wellbeing.
He urged the graduands to translate the skills they had acquired during their training to improve the health of the population.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the graduands drawn from two sets, 2019/2020 and 2020/202 Academic Sessions, were 51 in number.
Out of the 51 graduands, seven graduated with distinction as the combined graduation ceremony.ll
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