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June 15, 2024
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LASEPA to Inspect Restaurants, Hotels for Hygiene

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) says it will start visiting eateries, restaurants, and hotels, to ascertain their level of compliance to regulatory hygiene standards.

The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Tunde Ajayi, said this during the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) Continuing Medical Education (CME) event, on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Lagos.

The event was held in commemoration of World Family Doctor Day, celebrated annually on May 19 globally.

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Healthy Planet, Healthy People”, seeks to draw action for family doctors, healthcare professionals, and communities worldwide to recognise and respond to the health challenges posed by climate change.

Ajayi affirmed LASEPA’s commitment to enforcing environmental laws to ensure citizen’s well-being through safe and clean operations that protects public health from food and water borne diseases.

According to him, food hygiene can be observed through kitchen operations, such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene, noting that many restaurants have poor hygiene levels.

He noted that this had resulted in sickness for many unsuspecting citizens, worsening morbidity and mortality among citizens.

Ajayi said that there was need to know the level of e-coli in their wastewater, heavy metals in their portable water, noting that the agency conducts all these tests.

“Over the next couple of months, we would strengthen monitoring and compliance to ensure quality standards.

“Nobody should just wake up and pull water from the well and use it to cook for the public,” he said.

He advised the physicians to investigate the correlation between water, food and air quality and prevailing health conditions of patients presenting at health facilities.

Ajayi stressed that the environment has a direct impact on those living in it and could cause health problems like respiratory diseases, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

He stressed the need for organisations and individuals to collaborate and leverage on collective knowledge and innovation that would improve the environment and health of citizens.

Also, Dr Atinuke Onayiga, Chairman, Health Service Commission (HSC), said an unhealthy environment jeopardises the realisation of universal health coverage by compounding the existing burden of disease and worsening barriers to accessing health services.

Onayiga commended family doctors for their dedication to providing patient-centred care, in spite the challenges of the health sector.

Similarly, Dr Sixtus Ozuomba, Chairman, SOFPON Lagos, said climate change was impacting health in a myriad of ways, from extreme weather events, disruption of food systems and increases in diseases.

“Growing up, we know when to expect rain and dry season, but nowadays, it’s hard to predict, we have had rain falling on Christmas day.

“It shows that we have abused the planet and nature is taking its toll on us by hitting back and also showing in diseases, not just respiratory diseases, but communicable and noncommunicable diseases, even leading to emergence of new infections.

“The world hasn’t recovered from the effects of COVID-19, even diseases that are endemic to our country like the Lassa fever, meningitis and others are taking their toll on us and our health system,” Ozuomba said.

Ozuomba stressed the importance of instilling a culture of environmental consciousness among citizens to foster a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable environment.

The event started with tree planting at General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, and featured a medical outreach programme at Itire/Ijesha Community, Lagos.

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