WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH / MUNICIPAL HEALTH SERVICES
Environmental Health is recognised as human health issues associated with poor living conditions, contaminated water and vermin infestation. It is a branch of public health that is concerned with all aspect of the nature and built environment that may affect human health. Research in the Environmental Health field tries to limit the harmful exposures through natural things such as soil, water, air, food etc. World Health Organization defines Environmental Health as those aspects of the human health and diseases that are determined by factors in the environment, it refers it as theory and practice of assessment, correction, control and prevention of environmental factors that can adversely affect health, as well as the enhancement of those aspects.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER/OFFICER/HEALTH INSPECTOR (EHP/EHO /HP)
EH Practitioner/Officer/Health Inspector is a professional registered with Health Profession Council of South Africa, HPCSA REGULATES EH profession in the country in aspect pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing professional development, and fostering compliance with healthcare standards. They are responsible for carrying out measures for protecting public health, including administering and enforcing legislation related to environmental health and providing support to minimize health and safety hazards. Environmental Health Practitioners/ EH Officers/Health Inspectors are focused on prevention, consultation, investigation and education of the community regarding health risks and maintaining a safe environment. They bring to the position an understanding of microbiology, risk assessment, environmental science and technology, food science as well as the skills and knowledge related to the tracking and control of communicable diseases.
SCOPE OF PRACTISE FOR ENVIRONMETAL HEALTH
The Scope Profession of Environmental Health, as published under Regulation 888 of 26 April 1991, as amended promulgated under the Health Profession Act, 1974 (Act No 56 of 1974), prescribes the functions of Environmental Health Practitioners, Officers, Health Inspectors and a joint MINMEC decision was taken in 2002 that Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No.117 of 1998) Section 84 (1)(i), Municipal Health Services will be responsibility of Category C Municipalities, which are District and Metropolitan Municipalities. Such functions include:
- Water Quality Monitoring;
- Waste Management;
- Food Control;
- Health Surveillance and Prevention of Communicable Diseases, excluding immunisations’
- Vector Control;
- Environmental Pollution Control;
- Disposal of the Dead; and
- Chemical safety
Ms. Vuyeka Yabo (responsible for Intsika Yethu, Emalahleni, Sakhisizwe and Engcobo local
Mr. Siyabulela Vellem (responsible for Enoch Mgijima and Inxuba Yethemba local municipalities)