Environmental Health, Health Standards and Inspection unit, a branch of the Public Health department concerned with the effects that the natural and building a better environment for the republic of vanuatu.
Summary of Services
Environmental Health is the branch of Public Health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and man-made environment that may affect human health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Environmental Health as those aspects of the human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment.
Environmental Health includes the assessment and control of all environmental factors that can potentially affect health and it is targeted towards preventing disease and creating supportive environment.
The key areas of focus for the Environmental Health, Health Standards and Inspection (EHHSI) unit are:
- Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
- Food Safety
- Public Health Legislations
- Waste Management
Other key focus areas of Environmental Health unit includes; Occupational Health and Safety, Public Health Emergencies and Disasters and Ship inspection under International Health Regulations (IHR), however current staff limitations prevent full address towards these areas of need.
The EHHSI unit objectives for 2017 were:
- Enforcement officers from the Ministry of Health and its partners are equipped with knowledge to enforce the Ministry of Health Legislations.
- Access to WASH in Health facilities are provided, improved and maintained
- Public Health Legislation is reviewed and amended to suit the current situation
- Food Control Act & Regulation are enforced to protect human health
- Tobacco Legislation is enforced to protect public health effect from tobacco use.
- Sanitation and Hygiene Policy is established and understood by all stakeholders
Means of Service Delivery
- Conduct Legislative review for all Ministry of Health Compliance and Environmental Health officers and its partners such as the local municipalities.
- Improvement of WASH amenities in health facilities that have been assessed in Malekula (Malampa), Ambae & Maewo (Penama) and Sanma province.
- Conduct Food Safety Training for food handlers focusing in 2 provinces in 2017, namely Tafea and Shefa
- Conduct routine inspection for food premises, shops and kava bars to enforce MOH legislation
- Conduct review and amendment of Part 8 of the Public Health Act.
- Develop the Sanitation and Hygiene policy through Development Partners support (UNICEF).
- Development of IEC materials on provisions in the Tobacco Regulations onTobacco packaging for awareness to the public at large. These IEC materials will be distributed to all the six provinces for provincial compliance officers and local authorities to use for awareness raising and enforcement.
The Sanitation and Hygiene policy upon its final approval by Council of Ministers (COM) will be shared with MOH stakeholders, NGOs,through emails, presentations, and printing of hard copies to send to the 6 provinces.