Over 90% environmental health officers unemployed- Association

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The Environmental Health Graduate’ Association of Nigeria (EHGAN) says more than 90 per cent of its members across the country are unemployed.

Mr Akande Babatunde, the National Coordinator of the Association disclosed this in Abuja.

Babatunde said that the unemployed percentage was taken by the association across the country.

He said EHGAN also known as “Wole-Wole” has millions of members that graduated for more a decade but still unemployed.

“Nigerian government at all levels have failed to employ EHOs but rather committed environmental services in the hands of private individuals and companies which are running the services with the aim of making profit.

“The private employers are also exploiting the growing unemployment rate to further drive down working conditions of workers, latching on desperation of job-seeking Nigerian environmentalists,’’ he said.

Babatunde said that EHOs were last employed in some states in 2002, whereby health graduate officers were given Grade Level 4.

“During the colonial era, EHO worked assiduously with the efforts of keeping the environment clean.

“Environmental sanitation programmes were then spearheaded by the then sanitary inspectors who move around enforcing environmental sanitation in the market, street and house to house, hand washing exercise and evacuation of open dump sites.’’

Batunde said that combined efforts of EHOs supported by government of those days yielded a huge success in  eradicating diseases such as Yaw in 1930s and Small-pox in the 70s.

According to him, there was drastic reduction of malaria associated morbidity due to the emphasis on the elimination of possible mosquito breeding sites through the EHOs then.