ECHON warns against uncertified restaurants 

The Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (ECHON), has called on Nigerians to avoid eating at restaurants, bukas not certified by Environmental Health Practitioners (ECHON) across the country.

The Registrar ECHON, Dr Yakubu  Baba said this during a press briefing in Abuja.

Dr Baba noted that food vendors must go for compulsory medical screening to make sure they are healthy before being allowed to handle any other preparations.

He explained that they should avoid eating from places that are not certified by environmental health practitioners across the country. Food vendors must go for compulsory medical screening to make sure they are healthy before being allowed to handle any other preparation.

“Any person involved in preparation, serving or cooking of food must go as a matter of requirement and the Council is ready to enforce it under the Environmental Health Authority.

“All restaurants must pass through the certification by the local government health authority that their facility is fit to provide food for human consumption. We also encourage all health facilities to put in place the measures I have mentioned above that they should create isolation camps. And we are also calling all EHOs to embark, working in such facilities, to embark on current and concurrent disinfection, what do I mean by current, the current one is continuous as long as patients are in the hospital.”  He stressed. 

The ministry and the council have collected so far over 200 water and food samples, It may interest you to know that more than 80% of those samples collected are positive.

He said over  two hundred food and water samples collected by environmental practitioners about 80 percent tested positive and infectious.

“We are quite aware that Nigeria is witnessing another episode of infectious disease outbreak and I want to, on behalf of the Council and the Ministry of Environment, join in commiserating with the people affected so far, especially for those already that lost their lives to this highly infectious disease. Unlike other infectious diseases, cholera is primarily an environmentally-based, induced and environmentally-related infectious disease, occurring in places with low environmental quality standards.” He said.

He emphasised that the environmental officers in the field are embarking on the creation of awareness and also making sure that all water bodies that are within those reported infected communities are being chlorinated so that the people can have a wholesome water to drink.”

Dr Baba tasked all Environmental health authorities to create and manage isolation centers and establish disinfection points in the various zones.

He also urged the healthcare givers to  use the necessary protective equipment and also embark on disinfection and five levels of disinfection after visiting the patients.

The Registrar of ECHON, Dr Baba also implore all Nigerians to adopt environmental strategy as the surest way of containing this deadly outbreak.

“Five level disinfection is normally adopted as standard operation procedure as far as cholera outbreak is concerned, patient and caregivers must also take the necessary universal precautions because of the infectious nature of the disease, he said.