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Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) are health professionals who integrate comprehensive knowledge of the physical, biological and social sciences. These sciences allow them to perform as efficient practitioners in the field of Environmental Health. He or she will be a valuable member of the community who will have the skills required to advise people and to investigate, evaluate and control the many facets that affect the environment in which we live. The Environmental Health scope of practice includes: Water pollution control; Waste management Vector control; Environmental pollution control; Occupational health and safety, Port health; Health surveillance of premises; and Surveillance and prevention of communicable diseases to name just a few.

This is a career for the person who has an interest in medical/biological and environmental issues. The EHP should be a responsible person with the ability to communicate with all sectors of the population. He/she must display initiative as he/she will be expected to make decisions that may have a great impact upon the health of the community and the economy.

The Environmental Health Programme aims to:

  • Develop critical thinking professionals to serve industry, community and the public sector.
  • Provide responsive and proactive educational programme that place emphasis on serving the needs of all sectors of the SA society.
  • Contribute to the national agenda towards equity and redress.
  • Improve access and promote success in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
  • Participate in shaping local, national and international linkages in education, research and development.
  • Maintain the Department’s position as a self-sustaining unit.
  • Contribute towards the enhancement of the quality of student life.
  • Ensuring quality services and infrastructure to support teaching and learning.
  • Attract and retain quality staff and promote staff advancement.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive quality management systems.

 

Career Opportunities

After acquiring the undergraduate qualification in Environmental Health, students must register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as Environmental Health Practitioner which enable them to practice as an independent Environmental Health Practitioner in any of the following fields:

  • Community development
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental pollution control
  • Epidemiology
  • Food and meat hygiene
  • Health Promotion
  • Occupational health and safety

Popular employers are private companies, health departments at local, provincial and national government departments. Others include large food manufacturers, industries, mines and some hotel groups and environmental consultancies.

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