Public Health leaders and stakeholders in the Environmental Health sector have commended Dr Edwin Isotu-Edeh, for his Excellence in environmental health leadership in the country.
They made the remarks at the 40 Shades of Gratitude- 20 Successful years of Leadership in Public Health and Environmental Leadership event in Abuja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was also the 40th Birthday celebration of Isotu-Edeh, who has championed the ‘One Health Approach’ of the World Health Organisation in Nigeria in many ministries.
The Registrar, Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON), Dr Yakubu Mohammed, said Isotu-Edeh had shown his passion and commitment towards improving environmental health and safety in the country.
According to him, major contributions towards the development of public health and environmental health can be linked to him, saying he is a bridge builder.
Mohammed said his impact in fostering relationships between the three ministries of Health, Environment and Water Resources and Sanitation was laudable.
“He means different things to different people, for me, he is a passionate professional who has spearheaded the implementation of the one health approach.
“He has also made huge contributions in the establishment of the Environmental Health Surveillance System in Nigeria and in sustainable healthcare management in Nigeria.
“He is driving the sector by interfacing with federal ministries of health, environment and Water Resources and Sanitation to catalyse the one health approach as stipulated by the WHO”.
This, the registrar said was a necessary platform for collaboration and ensuring the full implementation of the Executive Order 009 to end open defecation and promoting disease prevention in the country.
Mohammed, who was the Chairman of the occasion, however urged the celebrant to continue in his giant strides in the sector, adding that posterity would judge him well.
Prof. Andrew Obafemi, Professor of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, said the celebrant was his student, with huge influence and passion in changing poor narratives in the environment sector.
According to him, Isotu-Edeh’s work in environmental health leadership is commendable, calling on young people to follow his footsteps.
The celebrant, Isotu-Edeh, thanked everyone for gracing the event, calling on young people to drive the needed change in the country.
According to him, those who have lost hope in Nigeria needed to be optimistic and rebuild it by stepping up their capacities to drive institutional reforms.
He said no society would develop if the potential of its young people were not maximised, calling on everyone to prioritise peace, build skills and strengthen the fragile air systems to prevent disease outbreaks.
“It is high time we also prioritise environmental intelligence, there are alot of issues around flooding, although there are early warning systems on that, but we shouldn’t wait until things get out of hands before actions are taken.
“In nations all over the world, people are proactive and they need the force of the youthful population, It is not time to fight, it’s time to consolidate.
“And for those who are running out of the country, you will eventually realise that where you are running to are built by people, So let’s build back Nigeria better and make Africa proud”.
The global health expert said there was need to promote health in all policies by preventing pandemics through the ‘one health approach’ and environmental sustainability.
The Chairman, Obolo Youth Coalition, Abuja Chapter, Mr Kasam Nteogwuile, said the celebrant was their proud member, wishing him well in his future career in improving his country.
Highlights of the event were formal announcement of the construction of three 40 shades of public toilets of four units each, in support of the Clean Nigeria Campaign programme to halt open defecation in the country.
Also, there were presentation of awards and recognition for selected individuals and African Icons of positive leadership and influence in diverse areas.