Dr Rosemary Onyibe, World Health Organisation’s Country Representative in Nigeria, has called for new occupational health policies to effectively respond to the new health needs in workplaces.
She announced this during the opening ceremony of the Annual Conference and AGM of the Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria, held on Friday in Lagos.
Onyibe, who was represented by Mr Clement Lasuba, also disclosed that a new health policy would solve the great differences in the working conditions and occupational health in WHO member countries at different stages of development.
In her words, “The health of workers has several determinants, including risk factors at the workplace leading to cancers, accidents, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, among others. WHO Nigeria is collaborating with relevant stakeholders in advancing the development of the National Action Plan on Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining in Nigeria aimed towards reducing health hazards to miners in various ASGM states.”
Dr Okon Akiba, the President of the association, called on the Federal Government to make sure employers of labour obey the safety and health regulations for their workforce.
He also mourned the standard of occupational health. He said it was low in Nigeria because the speciality was not well known. “It is not visible. The awareness is very low. We need government regulation to ensure enforcement. This is because every work has its hazards. A worker is supposed to know the dangers attached to his work. Employers of labour must put the necessary things in place to take care of workers’ health for the best delivery. In case, they get injured in the course of duty, employers should make provision to take care of them,” he said.