What is Environmental Health?
Environmental Health is the practice of ensuring that public health is protected from environmental problems. Health officials check a range of environmental markers (for example water quality, facilities) to ensure that public health is not put at risk from environmental factors.
Conditions in the environment can affect a person's ability to maintain good health. A healthy environment includes safe water and food supplies, suitably built and maintained housing and community facilities, as well as proper treatment and disposal of wastewater & solid waste.
Coupled with new medical technologies and vaccinations, public health has made huge improvements to human health. Important environmental health milestones include milk pasteurization and the disinfection of drinking water. Many diseases that used to affect people are no longer significant threats.
The Environmental Health Services in First Nations communities prevents or identifies environmental health risks that could impact the health of community residents. Corrective actions are recommended to reduce or mitigate these risks. The Environmental Health Program provides services to First Nations across BC.
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) provide advice, guidance, education, public health inspections and recommendations to First Nations and their leadership to help them manage public health risks associated with the environment. They collect data and observations to determine whether a public health risk exists, and determine what steps can be taken to improve conditions. Chief and Council are responsible for addressing the recommendations provided. Since October 1, 2013, Environmental Health Officers are employed by the FNHA.
All EHOs working in First Nations communities are certified by Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, a minimum requirement in British Columbia.
Environmental Public Health Services - After hours toll-free telephone number - 1-844-666-0711
Drinking Water Advisories
The FNHA is assessing health services and programs to ensure effectiveness for First Nations communities. FNHA Environmental Public Health Services will be evaluating core programs to ensure they meet the needs and priorities of communities.
FNHA Environmental Public Health Services strives for a level of at-home/on-reserve environmental health programming that exceeds that available away-from-home/off-reserve. As part of the FNHA ongoing engagement with Nations we will identify priority areas for transformation over time through our planning processes.
Find out more about the First Nations Environmental Contaminants Program (FNECP): http://environmentalcontaminants.ca/
Food Safety for First Nations People of Canada: A Manual for Healthy Practices: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/pubs/promotion/_safety-salubrite/manual-manuel-eng.php
Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/index-eng.php
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/
Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors http://www.ciphi.ca/home
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/ab/index.cfm
BC Ministry of Health and Regional Health Authorities http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/socsec/
BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm
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