An Open Letter to the Head of Local Government Service

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Local Government Service Council (LGSC)
Local Government Service Council (LGSC)

By Concerned Environmental Health Practitioner (Officers) 

EMPLOYMENT OF GRADUATES WITHOUT SCHOOLS OF HYGIENE (SOH) BACKGROUND AND REQUISITE PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION AND LICENSE FROM THE ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS COUNCIL (AHPC) AS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ANALYSTS AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Respectfully Sir, with reference to your letter dated 6th May, 2020 with number OHLGS/FC/45/08 with subject “Regulated Profession-Environmental Health Analysts/Officers/Assistants” that was addressed to All Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), All MMDAs and drew the attention of all Environmental Health Analysts/Officers/Assistants in this regard.

In this letter, you humbly directed that “the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) as a regulatory body in its requirement under section 27 (c, d, g, h, j) of the Act 857 (Part One), all persons practicing as Environmental Health Analysts/Officers/Assistants are duly registered and licensed by the Council” And that the “OHLGS wishes to bring to the attention of all Environmental Health Analysts/Officers/Assistants to ensure and comply with the law accordingly”. “Also, the license which would be issued by the Council would be a pre-requisite for employment for all Environmental Health staff”.

Document
Document

We wish to humbly bring to your attention about information intercepted on the employment of graduates without Schools of Hygiene (SOH) background and requisite professional registration and license from the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) (the professional regulatory body) by the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) for these graduates to practice as Environmental Health Analysts (Officers) in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

In view of this, we wish to respectfully write this Open Letter to the Head of Service, OHLGS that the employment of the aforementioned graduates as Environmental Health Practitioners (Analysts) by the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) to work at the MMDAs is in contravention of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies (HPRBA) Act, 2013 (Act 857) Section 3 (a, b, c, g, i, k), Section 5, subsections 1 (a, b), 2 (a, b), Section 6 (a, b, c, d), Section 21 (Offences) c, j and k  that established the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) which regulates the training, education and practice of the Environmental Health Profession and its Practitioners in the country.

As Environmental Health Practitioners (Officers), stakeholders and custodians of the Profession, our background checks indicated that these graduates are holding qualifications such as B.Sc. Environmental Science, B.Sc. Community Development, B.Sc. Public Health, B.Sc. Natural Resources Management, B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering and B.Sc. Agriculture among others.

Local Govt Letter On Ahpc
Local Govt Letter On Ahpc

Furthermore, information reaching us indicated that, these graduates has been fully employed and has since been posted to practice/work as Environmental Health Analysts in almost all the MMDAs across the country as permanent employees of the OHLGS whilst some have since assume Headship Positions over the professionally registered and licensed Environmental Health Officers/Assistants.

Please, kindly find below the list of some of these MMDAs these graduates have been posted (Sample MMDAs);

S/N NAME OF MMDA REGION NO. OF GRADUATES
1.        Sunyani Municipal Assembly (SMA) Bono Region 1
2.        Ejisu Municipal Assembly (EMA) Ashanti Region 1
3.        Denkyembour District Assembly (DDA), Akwatia Eastern Region 1
4.        Berekum East Municipal Assembly (BEMA) Bono Region 1
5.        Jaman North District Assembly (JNDA) Bono Region 1
6.        Tano South Municipal Assembly (TSMA) Ahafo Region 2
7.        Ga North Municipal Assembly (GNMA) Greater Accra 1
8.        Effia-Kwesimintisim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) Western Region 1
9.        Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) Western Region 1
10.    Ga West Municipal Assembly (GWMA) Greater Accra 1
11.    Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA) Greater Accra 1

 

In any case, we humbly suggest that,  if the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) thinks that, there is an urgent need for degree holders to be employed/recruited into the Environmental Health Class of the Service, then the Schools of Hygiene (SOH) must be upgraded to degree awarding institutions as soon as possible, and as well upgrade the practicing Environmental Health Officers/Assistants who have pursued further education to the degree level after their Diploma/Certificate from the SOH in areas such as B.Sc. Public Health, B.Sc. Water and Sanitation, B.Sc. Environmental Engineering among others than opting to recruit graduates without the requisite training, education, licensed and professional competencies in the practice of Environmental Health to work as Environmental Health Officers (Analysts).

Ahpc Accreditted Institutions
Ahpc Accreditted Institutions

Please, we cannot fathom how graduates who were not trained in professional Environmental Health and are not even qualified to be registered and licensed by Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and as such practice as Environmental Health Practitioners (Officers) can competently lead the development and issuance of technical guidelines on Environmental Health Management and Services as well as provide technical advice for the formulation of Environmental Health policies in the country.

With the greatest respect Sir, as the country is facing dire consequences of insanitary conditions and poor environmental sanitation, the services of professionally trained Environmental Health Practitioners (Officers) with Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Health and Sanitation to develop and issue technical guidelines on Environmental Health Management and Services and formulate robust and workable Environmental Health policies are urgently needed.

We stand with our dear President, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who passionately called on all “Ghanaians to be Citizens and Not Spectators”. As patriotic citizens as well as proud and concerned Environmental Health Practitioners and Not Spectators, we would like to humbly call on the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) and the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD), the Parliamentary Select Committees on Health, Environment, Sanitation and Local Government to honestly look into this issue as a matter of urgency and with the necessary attention it deserves as to why the Service acted contrary to Health Professions Regulatory Bodies (HPRBA) Act, 2013 (Act 857) by employing unqualified, unregistered and unlicensed graduates to practice as  Environmental Health Officers (Analysts).

Lastly, we would like to kindly reiterate that Environmental Health is a profession that requires formal training and is regulated in Ghana under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (ACT 857), hence practitioners are required by law to be registered and licensed to practice. Therefore, we are calling on the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) to ensure that only qualified, registered and licensed Environmental Health Practitioners are employed to practice.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Long Live Ghana!!!

Long Live Environmental Health Profession!!!

Long Live Environmental Health Practitioners (Officers)!!!

Long Live Sanitarians!!!

Thank you.

Cc:

  1. The Hon. Minister

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Ministries, Accra

 

  1. The Hon. Minister

Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ministries, Accra

 

  1. The Hon. Minister

Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Ministries, Accra

  1. The Head of Civil Service

Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS), Accra

 

  1. The Chief Director

Office of the Head of Local Government Service (OHLGS), Accra

 

  1. The Chief Director

Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ministries, Accra

 

  1. The Chief Executive

Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Accra

 

  1. The Registrar

Allied Health Professions Council, Korle-Bu, Accra

 

  1. The Chairman

Professions Specific Committee – Environmental Health, Allied Health Professions Council

Accra

 

  1. The Chairman

Council of Presidents, Ghana Federation of Allied Health Professions (GFAHP), Accra

 

  1. The National President

Ghana Environmental Health Officers Association (GEHOA), Accra

 

  1. The National President

Health Sector Environmental Health Practitioners Association – Ghana (HeSEHPAG), Accra

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