FMEnv wades into posinous fumigation at Ekiti school

By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

The Federal Ministry of Environment has waded into the fumigation of College of Health Technology, Ijero Ekiti, that led to the hospitalization of about 100 students.

The incident happened on Wednesday after men of the Federal Fire Service in the state allegedly fumigated the school premises.

The students who were writing an examination were said to have passed out, worse affected were asthmatic patients.

Reacting to the development, the Federal Ministry of Environment through the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), stated that the Federal Fire Service is not part of the organizations licensed to carry out the fumigation exercise.

EHORECON in a press release signed by Kehinde A. Openibo, Head, Public Affairs for the Acting Registrar/CEO, Dr……. said that the only Federal Government organization with powers to decontaminate and disinfect public institutions and private organizations is  the Federal Ministry of Environment anchored by licensed Environmental Health Officers who are trained in the safe composition and dispensing of  the approved formulation for this exercise.
“Similarly, licensed Environmental Health Officers employed by Sub National, Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private companies registered and licensed by the Council have the authority to carry out Decontamination/Disinfection.

“Furthermore, while going through the list of licensed individuals and corporate organizations empowered to carry out this exercise, the Federal Fire Service is not part of the organizations licensed to carry out this exercise.

“It is pertinent to note that Decontamination/Disinfection is not within the organizational mandates of the Federal Fire Service and should therefore restrict itself to its onerous task of fire outbreak control in Nigeria and not to get involved in the highly technical and well-regulated schedule of the Environmental Health professionals.

“As a responsible Federal Government Regulatory Agency with mandate to regulate the practice of Environmental Health, the Council will always ensure strict adherence to code of ethics, due process, transparency and accountability in the discharge of its duties and the general practice of Environmental Health in all its functional components in general and Decontamination/Disinfection in particular.

“Consequent upon this, the Council will therefore not accept any organization or corporate body not licensed to carry out function(s) which is/are outside such organizations’ mandate or jurisdiction.

“However, the Council will like to use this medium to commiserate with His Excellency, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, the Management and Staff of the College of Health Technology, Ijero, Ekiti, the parents and the students hospitalized as a result of this illegal and unprofessional exercise.

“Meanwhile, on the directives of the Honorable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, the Council has dispatched a technical team to conduct on-the-spot assessment with a view to determining the actual cause, effect, control measures and make recommendations.

“It is pertinent to reiterate that the only Federal Establishment mandated to carry out Decontamination/ Disinfection is the Federal Ministry of Environment and its assigned parastatal in this case, the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria {EHORECON}.

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