Media Release: Klein Karoo and Mossel Bay EHP’S celebrate World Environmental Health Day
For immediate release
28 September 2023
The theme of World Environmental Health Day which is celebrated on 26 September 2023 was “Global Environmental Public Health: Standing up to protect everyone’s health each and every day”.
As part of the build–up activities towards World Environmental Health Day, the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in the Klein Karoo region engaged in various activities to reach out to food handlers, crèches and community members to create awareness about the impact of the environment on our overall health and well-being.
The emphasis of the various awareness actions was to convey the message of the importance of a clean environment to ensure a good quality of health and life.
Illegal dumping awareness was done at crèches and in the community and health and hygiene awareness information was provided to persons in charge of -and food preparers of food premises.
It is important that children learn from a very young age to prevent littering and waste pollution and to use acceptable and appropriate methods that are available to dispose waste effectively. A clean environment encourages outdoor play without fear of children being injured by playing near waste heaps and trash.
Community members were sensitised on the fact that a clean neighbourhood free from illegal dumping holds many benefits to our communities and that a clean environment is a healthy environment. No illegal dumping means no pollution from hazardous substances and chemicals that could cause damage to the soil, the air and the surrounding groundwater. An environment, free from illegal dumping prevents the presence of insects like flies and mosquitoes, rodents like rats and mice, as well as bad smells. It furthermore ensures the health, safety and well-being of communities.
According to the World Health Organisation statistics, an estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill because of contaminated food. A shocking 420 000 of these cases end in death each year. Regulation 638 of 2018 requires that all food premises, new and existing, have to be in possession of a Certificate of Acceptability. Also, the person in charge of -and any other person(s) working on the food premises must be adequately trained in the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene. Additionally, new innovations in food production, as well as the re-emergence of food-borne diseases must be adequately addressed to adapt to the changing conditions and environments.
Furthermore, in Mossel Bay the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners, serving the area, created awareness and shared valuable advice and useful information on how to keep food safe during periods of load shedding. The session took place at the Evethu Clinic. As part of the programme, EHPs also disseminated pamphlets to visitors that were present during the session.
Click here to read more on how to keep food safe during loadshedding.