The 2020 One Health Advocacy and Mentorship (OHAM) Program, its pioneer edition, completed on a high note on September 30th, 2020. This was after a 6-month engagement with 13 young professionals from diverse One Health-related fields like Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Health, Microbiology, Conservation, and Agriculture on One Health learning, media advocacy and mentorship. This fellowship exposed the young professionals to cogent public health issues at the interface of environmental, human and animal health.
One of the key outcomes of the program is for Fellows to implement a community-based One Health project activity in their field of interest and with the support of their mentor. In this regard, Fellow Iyiola Oladunjoye with support from his mentor and supervision from the organization will implement Project Clean-Up in Ijora Fish Market, Olopa Lagos on Saturday 28th November, 2020. This will entail conducting community sensitization on good environmental and waste management practices; implementing a market-wide Community clean-up; and conducting a community survey of market traders’ existing attitudes, practices and beliefs on waste management.
Poor environmental and waste management remain a key challenge to public health and development in Nigeria. In a market like the Ijora Fish market with indiscriminate waste littering and dumping of refuse on land and in water bodies, poor waste management is particularly an issue due increased risk of unhygienic fish products put of for sale, diminishing aquatic life and environmental degradation. A World Health Organization (WHO) report (2012) has shown that living or working in an unhealthy environment led to about 1 out of 4 global deaths estimated at 12.6 million deaths. More than ever, this drives home the importance of a healthy environment not just for humans but including the animals and plants who contribute to life on earth.
This project, facilitated by a small grant awarded by Madam Foluke Areola (OHAM Mentor) and supported by the One Health and Development Initiative (OHDI) will increase community awareness on environmental health challenges and good waste management practices. The research survey component would inform potential community-based interventions that would be designed and implemented to improve environmental and waste management practices in the market and others like it.
We also utilize this opportunity to call for volunteers resident in Lagos State who are willing to participate in this project as we aim to achieve a positive One Health outcome for healthy environment, healthy people and healthy animals.
If you are interested in volunteering and joining the movement, please send a text or whatsapp message to 08055993123 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.