An Environmental Health Policy is now being drafted for Dominica to take effect as early as 2014.
The policy when finalized will address the strengthening of environmental legislation and registering the department as a professional body.
Chief Environmental health officer Anthony Scotland told GIS news that restructuring of the Environmental Health Department is a major priority.
When we talk Environmental Health we are looking at the broad spectrum because Environmental Health is not only confined to that department but it takes into account several other Government agencies inclusive of the utility companies, the Bureau of Standards and Port and Custom Departments. The environmental Health Department has reviewed its work program and we have seen that there is an urgent need to reorganize environmental health in Dominica.”
Scotland told GIS news that stakeholders involved in Environmental health participated in a one day workshop recently where they were engaged in the initial planning of the environmental health policy for Dominica.
“This workshop looked at a pre-liminary situational analysis of Environmental Health in Dominica in terms of the kind of conditions, diseases and contaminants we have in the environment” Scotland noted.
He said “A vision statement was presented and we had a facilitator from PAHO who assisted participants in developing policy guidelines.
Scotland said feedback from that workshop will be put into a proposal document which will be presented to the Ministry of Health for review.
“We have given ourselves by the end of April to come up with a more in-depth situational analysis on environmental health in Dominica and from there we will develop a statement on that. Once this is done we will proceed to the next level. We are giving ourselves by the end of 2013 to come up with a document that we can present to the Minister of Health” stated Scotland.
The Chief Environmental Health Officer is hoping that the new policy on Environmental Health will take effect by early 2014.