SPOTLIGHT ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IN CYPRUS
The Association of Health Inspectors Cyprus
Cyprus is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean and is a member of EU.
The two main mountain ranges are the Pentadactylos in the north and the Troodos in the central and south-western part of the island. Between them is the fertile plain of Messaoria.
Cyprus has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa and still has many traces of successive civilisations; Roman theatres and villas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles and pre-historic habitats.
The island’s main economic activities are tourism, clothing and craft exports and merchant shipping. Traditional crafts include embroidery, pottery and copperwork.
Traditional local dishes include the meze – a selection of appetizers served as a main dish, halloumi cheese and the zivania schnapps.
Since Turkey occupied the north of the island in 1974, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities have been separated by the so-called Green Line.
Cyprus is well known as the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, who, according to legend, was born here.
The Association of Health Inspectors Cyprus (APHIC) was founded in 1988.
The Association is a non-govermental organisation dedicated to the promotion of environmental health and the dissemination of knowledge about environmental health issues for the benefit of the public.
Other objectives are:
- To raise the status and advance the practices and policies of the environmental health profession and to promote the consideration and discussion of all questions affecting the profession of environmental health.
- To co-ordinate and represent the views, concerns and interests and to promote the welfare of members.
- To arrange opportunities and facilities for members to meet and obtain and interchange knowledge and information.
- To disseminate knowledge on environmental health to individuals, the community, and the public in general.
The Association currently has over 160 members. About 85% of Health Inspectors are employed by the Ministry of Health, Cyprus, and 15% are employed by Local Authorities (Municipalities). The majority of our members (80%) are holders of postgraduate qualifications.
The APHIC run a training course in the field of food hygiene for food handlers, HACCP courses for the managerial staff of Food Business and it publishes a journal, “HEALTH MATTERS” posted free to all members and to others interested. The Association also organizes several activities for its members such as conferences, seminars , the annual dance etc.
The main duties of the Health Inspectors in Cyprus are:
- Implementation of National and EU Legislation on Foodstuffs.
- Official Control of Foodstuffs and Food Establishments according to the Official Control EC Regulation (EC) 882/2004.
- Monitoring and control of Drinking Water.
- Licensing and inspection of food premises.
- Education of food handlers on Food Hygiene.
- Supervising and monitoring of the quality of sea water and swimming pools
- Health Education.
- International Exchanges
The APHIC has good relationships with other IFEH member organisations i.e REHIS, EHOA etc.
In 2006 at a special ceremony at Hilton Cyprus the APHIC signed a ‘twinning’ agreement with REHIS. This agreement follows a long standing informal friendship between the two organisations. It is anticipated that this link will lead to closer co-operation on European environmental health matters. Five representatives from our association were able to visit Scotland and join the year’s Annual Conference. During this Conference, five new REHIS Honorary Vice-Presidents were appointed including George Georgallas, the President of the Association of Public Health Inspectors, Cyprus.
The Association of Health Inspectors Cyprus.