An Environment Health Officer, Dr Samuel Akingbehin, has called on members of the public to be more vigilant and conscious of food items bought for consumption to avoid health complication.
Akingbehin, the National President of the Environment Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.
He spoke against the backdrop of the poisonous cowhide sales, otherwise known as `ponmo’ in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, spoke on the report of a preliminary investigation and enforcement carried out on the sale of the toxic `ponmo’ (cowhide) in some areas of the state.
Idris said that the three persons involved had been charged to court, while samples of the confiscated `ponmo’ had been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) laboratory for suitability test analysis for human consumption.
Akingbehin also advised members of the public to report any suspected and unwholesome food item with environmental infractions to the nearest EHO’s office or the nearest local government council.
“I implore all members and stakeholders to be very vigilant.
“Ponmo is an item which is used in various delicacies but some people have decided to jeopardise the health of the masses.
“Let us be mindful and ensure that those perpetrating such unscrupulous act are apprehended to secure our health, ‘’ he said.
Akingbehin said that all relevant agencies and enforcement teams at the various border posts and points of entry should ensure proper documentation and certification of all imported food items.
“Other states of the federation and EHOs nationwide should be on red alert and comb every nook and cranny of their areas of jurisdiction in order to clamp down on nefarious activities capable of endangering the health of the public,” he said.
He advised that government should look critically into the employment of more registered professional EHOs in line with the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) Act No 11 of 2002.
“This is to achieve the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard ratio of one environmental officer to 8,000 human population, ” Akingbehin said.