Health surveillance of premises is a function of Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM’s) Municipal Health Services (MHS) Section who serve to promote safe, healthy and hygienic conditions at all premises e.g. housing, business and public premises. If it is found that conditions exist which cause a health hazard an investigation and evaluation will follow to initiate corrective action(s).
According to Mr Johan Compion, Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services “the municipality does about 4 819,5 municipal health inspections per month”. He also said: “The busiest time for Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs), remain between September and November.”
Facilities that fall under the jurisdiction of a District Municipality
MHS include the identification, monitoring and evaluation of health risks, nuisance and hazards on premises or facilities such as:
- accommodation resorts;
- body piercing/tattoo parlours;
- childcare facilities;
- guest houses;
- health care facilities;
- informal settlements;
- night shelters;
- offensive trades
- old age homes;
- places of care;
- premises where animals are kept;
- public toilet facilities;
- recreation ablution facilities;
- retirement villages;
- self-catering accommodation premises; and
- tertiary and other educational institutions.
Environmental Health Inspections
Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) conduct Environmental health inspections of premises and can do this unannounced. During this process, EHPs use inspection checklists and generate inspection reports. Such a report includes the relevant health recommendations, issued by EHPs to the person in charge or the owner of premises after every inspection. An inventory or database of all premises (e.g. childcare centres, nursing homes, beauty salons, schools etc.) is kept and maintained by the MHS office, for monitoring and control purposes.
These inspections adopt a risk management approach with a specific focus on ventilation, lighting, indoor air quality, food safety, water and sanitation practices, management of waste, pest control, disease transmission risk factors, hygiene practices and other conditions that are likely to pose a hazard or risk to human health. After inspections, businesses who were inspected receive a list of recommendations and remedial actions to follow. This also forms part of the health education rolled out during environmental health inspections.
Inspections and investigations happen in accordance with Section 82 and 83 of the National Health Act for regulatory compliance reasons. If any conditions persist at a premises, which can be a risk to the health of community members, the Municipal Health Section can take action in terms of the Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003) and Municipal Health By-Laws. To this end, it is important for preventative and corrective measures to be in place.
For any information or complaints, contact the GRDM MHS at 044 – 803 1300, alternatively e-mail email@example.com.