Environmental Health

Environmental Health is the public health field that monitors and addresses physical, chemical, and biological factors that we might not have direct control over, but can impact our health anyway.

It should be seen as crucial frontline defence in our public health system in protecting and improving the population’s health and well-being through health promotion; reducing inequalities in health status; prevention of disease, injury, disability, and premature death; and protection from environmental and other hazards to health.  Simply put, environmental health is the area of public health that deals with all the different ways the world around us can impact our physical and mental well-being.

The Environmental Health Section’s remit is to safeguard health and improve the population’s well-being by providing core environmental health services and enforce relevant legislation.

The Section can be found in the main administration building of the Health Directorate in upper Jamestown.

Contact: 22500 or the Senior Environmental Health Officer Georgina Young via: georgina.young@sainthelena.gov.sh

Services provided

Port Health

  • Inspection of ships to ensure that public health standards under IHR are met
  • Control of infectious diseases on board incoming vessels by undertaking health check visits to ships
  • Investigation of reported sickness amongst ships company or passengers
  • Inspection of foodstuffs and products of animal origin entering St Helena
  • Monitoring water quality and pest control around the port/s
  • Aircraft health clearance in accordance with IHR and local disinsection policy.

Food Safety & Hygiene

  • Registration of food businesses and licensing of food premises
  • Inspection of food premises to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Control and investigation of food-borne diseases
  • Investigation of food complaints
  • Taking part in local and educational initiatives to support health promotion
  • Undertaking regular food sampling under a set sampling programme, and
  • Checking for illegal food imports, and
  • Advice to businesses.

Meat Inspection

  • Checking the quality and safety of meat
  • Detecting and destruction of diseased meat
  • Assurance of clean and sanitary handling and preparation
  • Minimisation of microbiological contamination of meat
  • Maintaining accurate recording of data for statistical  data

Inspectorate – Fish & Fish Products

  • Undertaking annual audits of establishments, fishing vessels, landing sites, ice-plants, cold stores and means of transport
  • Preparing and submitting reports to the Competent Authority regarding approval of establishments/vessels etc
  • Ensuring the appropriate certification of fishery products for export through the use of different inspection forms and health certification processes
  • Ensuring the withdrawal or condemnation of non-compliant products
  • Participating in the development of inspection methods and the training of staff
  • Maintaining all documentation up to date and in line with current local and EU legislation.

Health & Safety

  • Enforcing controls in respect of areas towhich EHO’s are trained including the advertisement, sale, supply, storage and use for areas such as wholesale and retail premises, hotels and housing, warehouses, catering establishments, sports grounds and leisure facilities
  • Health & Safety training.

Health Education

  • Supporting health education with displays and exhibitions to disseminate educational materials and giving public health talks to a wide range of audiences.

Land Application & Plan Approval

  • Making site visits to ascertain suitability in relation to potential public health nuisances.
  • Reporting back to the Control Board via the land application consultation process.

Community Participation

  • Initiating, organising and attending community participation meetings where advice and guidance is required or offered
  • Promotion of awareness programmes.

Pest Control Services

Responsible for taking pest control measures against pests that impact on public health.  This undertaking is the primary responsibility of a sub-section of the Environmental Health Section: The Pest Control Unit. 

Pest Control duties are undertaken as two broad components of work within the Pest Control Unit:

  • Providing pesticide application programmes in response to public requests.
  • Undertaking routine rodenticide baiting programmes in the rural areas for the management of rodents.

Other activities include:

  • Regular monitoring of public water system, including swimming pool water and seawater at Rupert’s and Jamestown.
  • Fumigating premises against pathogens. Inspection of imported second  hand clothing
  • Undertaking routine control programmes for the control of pests in premises and around public properties, including the Jamestown sewer system.
  • Undertaking surveys and inspections for infestations in premises (including ships’ holds)
  • Undertaking of surveys and inspections for the management of mosquitoes at the airport site.
  • Providing advice/guidance to other government officials and others