Environment and Public Health
The Department’s anchor is in the Council Vision: i.e. “To make Matsapha a sustainable and livable investment town”. As an industrial town the focus of the town has been skewed towards economic development. The Department has however been established to normalize this and ensure that the environment and public health issues are factored into the development of the town.
Environment and public health issues loosely translate to environmental health. Environmental health is the interaction between the environment and the health of the people. While environmental health is distinct from environmental protection there are overlaps in many areas. Environmental health has been defined as “those aspects of human health determined by physical, biological, and social factors in the environment.”
The Environment & Public Health Department is responsible for protecting and improving the health of the people of Matsapha and the quality of the environment. It aims at ensuring sustainable development by integrating public health and environmental issues in the development of the town.
The Department carries out its functions through the Environmental Management, Public Health and Mobile Clinic Units within the Department.
It emphasizes collective responsibility for health, its protection and disease prevention. Key to this is the recognition of the key role of the Local Authority, linked to a concern for the underlying socio-economic and wider determinants of health, as well as disease. There are three main areas of public health practice: health improvement, health protection and health services. The focus areas for Matsapha are: