1. Citing pertinent examples describe the roles of an environmental health officer/PHO in ports of entry. The roles of a public Health Officer in the ports of entry are many but they all fall under or rather are there for the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR).It is also the most important role of a PHO in ports of entry or of exit. • Ensuring compliance to Public Health Laws, Standards and requirements. Some of the roles they play include;
* Implementation of the international Health regulations role Public health officers in Member states have the role of implementing IHR in their countries. The purpose and scope of these Regulations are to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. * Disease surveillance Role
This includes screening of passengers from countries affected by internationally notifiable diseases and taking appropriate action as necessary. Investigation of any case of infectious diseases report at the port or aboard any vessel (aircraft, ship, train or road vehicle) entering the country. They also work at the screening posts and baggage checking at the airports so as to be able to track down any substances carried by passengers that may pose a risk to the public. * Quarantine Role
Quarantine is the isolation of persons or animals suspected of being exposed or as having the potential to spread infectious or contagious diseases. Quarantine can be of a passenger(s) suspected of having an infectious disease, infected vessels or any vessel disinfected or disinfested as per IHR (2005) and other existing local laws and regulations.
* Inspection and certification of vessels Role
Public health officers inspect all types of commercial vessels like aircraft, ship, train or road vehicle to ensure appropriate sanitary conditions and hygiene standards are maintained. They also issue ship sanitation control exemption certificate/ship sanitation control certificate.
* Environmental Sanitation Role
Environmental health activities carried out at the ports include sanitation, pollution control, and waste disposal. This includes activities like disinfection and decontamination of conveyances within ports to control nuisances such as noise, dust, smoke and odour problems.
Disinfection is carried out on all surfaces in the aircraft, all luggage and postal parcels, ambulances or any other vehicle in which infected case was transported. They also ensure that all waste from the aircraft is safely disposed inclusive of inspecting and supervising disposal of condemned cargo. Port health officers also carry out sanitary inspections of Port premises and report defects as per the guide lines provided.
* Vector/vermin control Role
Some of the vectors controlled in the ports include rats, mice, mosquitoes, cockroaches among many others. They are controlled because they can transmit diseases from one location to another. They are controlled through fumigation of infected vessels and quarantine of the vessels which is under the supervision of the PHO.
* Food safety Role
They carry out inspection of food conveyance vessels to ensure that food is transported in hygienic environment. They also carry out random sampling and testing and certification of food imports in accordance with both international and local food safety laws and regulations. Locally they inspect food manufacturing, processing and catering establishments within the ports. * Vaccination Role
The PHOs at the ports of entry/exit ensure that travelers are immunized / vaccinated against some important diseases and issued with vaccination certificates. Vaccines for travellers include: (1) those that are used routinely, particularly but not only in children; (2) others that may be...
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