Public Health Act
- Commenced on 29 July 1948
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Public Health Act.
2. Application of this ActThis Act, or specified provisions thereof only, shall apply to such part or parts of Malawi as the Minister may direct by notice published in the Gazette
3. ApplicationThe Minister may by notice published in the Gazette suspend or rescind the application of this Act, or of specified provisions thereof, to any part or parts of Malawi to which it, or such specified provision, has or have been applied.
Part I – Interpretation of terms
4. InterpretationIn this Act and in any Rules made under this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms have the following meanings-“adult” means a person who is over or appears to be over eighteen years of age;“assisted hospital” means a hospital or any other health facility which is maintained in whole or in part by grants-in-aid;“Board or Board of Governors” means a Board of Governors established under Part IIA;[21 of 1992]“building” includes any structure whatsoever whether permanent or temporary for whatsoever purpose used;“burial” means burial in earth, interment or any other form of sepulture, or the cremation or any other mode of disposal of a dead body, and “buried” has a corresponding meaning;“carrier of a disease” means one in whose body the infection of a disease is still present and liable to be transmitted to another person, although the carrier is not himself suffering from the disease in an active form;“child” means a person who is under or appears to be under eighteen years of age;“dairy” includes any farm-house, cow shed, milk-stall, milk-shop or other place from which milk is supplied or in which milk is kept or used for purposes of sale or is manufactured into butter, ghee, cheese, dried milk or condensed milk for sale;“dairyman” includes any cow-keeper, purveyor of milk, or occupier of a dairy, and in cases where a dairy is owned by a corporation or company, the secretary or other person actually managing such dairy;“district” means in relation to a local authority, the area which is under the jurisdiction of that local authority;“drain” means any drain together with its appurtenances used for the drainage of one building only, or of premises within the same curtilage and made merely for the purpose of communicating therefrom with a cesspool or other like receptacle for drainage, or with a sewer into which drainage of two or more buildings or premises occupied by different persons is conveyed, and includes any pipe or channel whether opened or closed, used or intended to be used for the drainage of land;“dwelling” means any house, room, shed, hut, cave, tent, vehicle, vessel or boat or any other structure or place whatsoever, any portion whereof is used by any human being for sleeping or in which any human being dwells;“to erect” in reference to a dwelling or room includes “to alter”, “add to” or “convert into” and “erected” has a corresponding meaning;“factory” means any premises wherein, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, steam, water, or other power whether mechanical or manual is used in aid of the manufacturing process there carried on;“food” means any article used for food or drink other than drugs or water, but includes ice, and any article which ordinarily enters into or is used in the composition or preparation of human food, and includes flavouring matters and condiments, and “foodstuffs” has a corresponding meaning;“guardian” means, any person having by reason of the death, illness, absence or incapacity of a parent or any other cause, the custody of a child;“health officer” means a medical officer of health and a health inspector;“health inspector” means a health inspector of the Ministry of Health or one employed by a local authority;“infected” means suffering from, or in the incubation stage of, or contaminated with the infection of, any infectious disease;“infectious disease” means any disease which can be communicated directly or indirectly by any person suffering therefrom to any other person;“isolation” means the segregation and the separation from, and interdiction of communication, with others, of persons, who are or are suspected of being infected, and isolated has a corresponding meaning;“keeper of a lodging-house” means any person keeping a hotel or lodging-house;“land” includes any right over or in respect of land or any interest therein;“latrine” includes privy, urinal, earth-closet and water-closet;“lodging-house” means a building or part of a house including the veranda thereof, if any, which is let or sublet in lodgings or otherwise, either by storeys, by flats, by rooms, or by portions of rooms;“medical observation” means the isolation of persons in a suitable place;“medical officer” means any registered or licensed medical practitioner in the employment of the Government and includes any person authorized by the Secretary for Health to act as a medical officer;“medical officer of health” means the Secretary for Health or any medical officer appointed by the Secretary for Health to act as such in any area;“medical practitioner” means a person who is registered or licensed as such under any law in force in Malawi governing the registration of medical practitioners;“medical surveillance” means the keeping of a person under medical supervision. Persons under such surveillance may be required by the medical officer of health or any officer duly authorized by the Secretary for Health to remain within a specified area or to attend for medical examination at specified places and times;“occupier” shall include any person in actual occupation of land or premises without regard to the title under which he occupies and, in case of premises subdivided and lot to lodgers or various tenants the person receiving rent payable by the lodgers or tenants whether on his own account or as an agent for any person entitled thereto or interested therein;“offensive trade” includes the trade of blood-boiler, bone-boiler, fell-monger, soap-boiler, tallow-melter, tripe-boiler, tanner, preparer or storer of hides, manure manufacturer, and any other noxious or offensive trade, business or manufacture declared by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette to be a noxious or offensive trade;“owner” shall, as regards immovable property, include any person, other than the Government, receiving the rent or profits of any land or premises from any tenant or occupier thereof, or who would receive such rent or profits if such land or premises were let whether on his own account or as agent for any person other than the Government entitled thereto or interested therein. The term includes any lessee or licensee from the Government and any superintendent, overseer, or manager, of such lessee or licensee residing on the lands or premises;“parent” means and includes the father and mother of a child whether legitimate or not;“premises” includes any building or tent together with the land on which it is situated and the adjoining land used in connexion therewith, and includes any vehicle, conveyance or vessel;“proprietor” in relation to an assisted hospital, includes a former proprietor;[21 of 1992]“public building” means a building used or constructed or adapted to be used either ordinarily or occasionally us a place of public worship or as a hospital, college, school, theatre, public hall, or as a public place of assembly or entertainment for persons admitted by ticket or otherwise, or used or adapted to be used for any other public purpose;“public vehicle” means any vehicle which plies or stands for hire, or is from time to time let out for hire or is intended to be let out for hire and includes any railway coach or aircraft or vessel;“slaughter-house” means any premises set apart for the purpose of a slaughter-house by a local authority;“stock” means and includes all domesticated animals of which the flesh or milk is used for human consumption;“street” means any highway, road or sanitary lane, and includes any bridge, footway, square, court, alley or passage whether a thoroughfare or a part of one or not;“trade premises” means any premises (other than a factory) used or intended to be used for carrying on any trade or business;“vehicle” means every means of conveyance or of transit or parts thereof manufactured for use or capable of being used on land, water or in the air and in whatever way driven or propelled or carried;“veranda” includes any stage, platform or portico projecting from the external wall of any building;“veterinary officer” means the Director of Veterinary Services or any veterinary officer in the employment of the Government or any member of the Government veterinary staff appointed by the Director of Veterinary Services to act as such in any area;“workshop” means any building or part of a building or any premises in which manual labour is exercised for the purposes of trade.
Part II – Administration
5. Power to direct inquiriesThe Minister may cause to be made such inquiries as he may see fit in relation to any matters concerning the public health in any place.
6. Power of persons directed to make inquiriesWhen the Minister directs any inquiry to be made, the person directed to make such inquiry shall have free access to all books, plans, maps; documents, and other things relevant to the inquiry, and shall have in relation to witnesses and their examination and the production of documents similar powers to those conferred upon Commissioners by the Commissions of Inquiry Act, and may enter and inspect any building, premises, or place, the entry or inspection whereof appears to him requisite for the purpose of such inquiry.
7. General duties of local authoritiesIt shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and under its special circumstances reasonable and practicable measures for preventing the occurrence or dealing with any outbreak or prevalence of any infectious, communicable or preventable disease, to safeguard and promote the public health, and to exercise the powers and perform the duties in respect of the public health conferred or imposed on it by this Act or by any other law.
8. Proceedings on complaint against local authoritiesWhenever any complaint is made that the public health in any locality is endangered by the failure or refusal on the part of the local authority to exercise the powers or perform the duties devolving upon it under this Act, the Minister, if satisfied after due inquiry that the local authority is guilty of default, may make an order directing the local authority to perform its duty in the matter of such complaint and prescribing a time for such performance. If such order is not obeyed within the time prescribed the Minister may appoint some person to carry out such order, and the cost of carrying out the order may be recovered as a debt due to the Government from the local authority.
9. Powers of person appointed under preceding sectionAny person appointed under the last preceding section to perform the duty of a defaulting local authority shall, in the performance and for the purpose of such duty have all the powers of such local authority other than the powers of levying rates vested in any local authority pursuant to the provision of any Act in that behalf, and the Minister may from time to time by order change any person so appointed.
10. This Act in relation to other ActsSave as is specially provided in this Act, this Act shall be deemed to be in addition to and not in substitution for any provisions of any other Act which are not in conflict or inconsistent with this Act.
Part IIA – Management of assisted hospitals
10A. Board of Governors of assisted hospitals
10B. Contents of order
Part III – Notification of infectious diseases
11. Notifiable diseasesThe provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, shall, so far as they concern notifiable infectious diseases, apply to anthrax; blackwater fever; cerebro-spinal meningitis or cerebro-spinal fever; cholera; diphtheria or membranous croup; dysentery (bacillary); encephalitis lethargica; enteric or typhoid fever (including paratyphoid); erysipelas; hydrophobia or human rabies; influenza; measles; plague; acute primary pneumonia; acute anterior poliomyelitis; acute polioencephalitis; puerperal fever (including septicemia, pyemia, septic pelvic cellulitis or other serious septic condition occurring during the puerperal state); relapsing fever; scarlet fever or scarlatina; sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis; smallpox or any disease resembling smallpox; all forms of tuberculosis which are clinically recognizable apart from reaction to the tuberculin test; typhus fever; whooping-cough and yellow fever.
12. Declaration of notifiable diseases by MinisterThe Minister may by notice published in the Gazette—
13. Notification of infectious diseases
14. Regulations for the notification of infectious diseasesThe Minister may, in respect of the notification of infectious disease, make Regulations as to—
15. Fees for certificatesThe local authority shall pay to every medical practitioner, other than a Government medical officer, for each certificate duly sent by him in accordance with this Act a fee of five shillings.
Part IV – Prevention and suppression of infectious diseases
16. Powers of medical officer of health to inspect premises and personsA medical officer of health may at any time enter and inspect any premises in which he has reason to believe that any person suffering or who has recently suffered from any infectious disease is or has recently been present, or any inmate of which has recently been exposed to the infection of any infectious disease, and may medically examine any person in such premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether such person is suffering or has recently suffered from or is a carrier of any such disease and may cause a post-mortem examination to be made on any corpse for the purpose of ascertaining if the cause of death has been any infectious disease.
17. Cleansing and disinfection of premises and articles therein
18. No compensation for deprivation during disinfectionCompensation shall not be payable in respect of the deprivation of the occupation or use of any building or part thereof or of the use of any article occasioned by disinfection, if no undue delay has occurred.
19. Provision of means of disinfectionAny local authority may provide a proper place, with all necessary apparatus and attendance, for the disinfection of bedding, clothing or other articles which have become infected, and may cause any articles brought for disinfection to be dealt with free of charge.
20. Provision of conveyance for infected personsAny local authority may provide and maintain a conveyance or conveyances for the carriage of persons suffering from any infectious disease and may pay the expenses of carriage therein of any person so suffering to a hospital or other place of detention.
21. Provision for removal to hospital of persons suffering from infectious diseases where serious riskWhere the local authority is satisfied on a certificate of the medical officer of health that a person is suffering from an infectious disease and—
22. Penalty on exposure of persons and articles liable to convey infectious diseaseAny person who—
23. Penalty on failing to provide for disinfection of vehicleEvery owner or driver of a vehicle shall immediately notify a medical officer of health, and provide for the disinfection of such vehicle to the satisfaction of such medical officer of health, after it has to his knowledge conveyed any person suffering from an infectious disease, and if he fails to do so he shall be liable to a fine of £20; but no such driver or owner shall be required to convey any person so suffering until he has been paid a sum sufficient to cover any loss or expenses incurred by him in carrying this section into effect.
24. Penalty for letting infected houseAny person who knowingly lets for hire any dwelling or premises or part thereof in which, within the previous six weeks, any person has been suffering from an infectious disease without having the same, and all articles therein liable to retain infection, efficiently disinfected to the satisfaction of the medical officer of health as testified by a certificate signed by him shall be liable to a fine of £50.This section shall apply to any owner or keeper of a lodging house.
25. Duty of person letting house lately infected to give true informationAny person letting for hire or showing for the purpose of letting for hire any building or part thereof who on being questioned by any person negotiating for the hire of such building or part as to the fact of there being or within six weeks previously having been therein any person suffering from any infectious disease knowingly makes a false answer to such question shall be liable to a fine of £50.
26. Notification of deaths and removal of bodies of persons dying of infectious disease
27. Removal and burial of bodies of persons who have died of an infectious diseaseA medical officer of health, a health officer, a health inspector, a local authority or any administrative or police officer on a certificate from a medical practitioner that a person has died from an infectious disease, is empowered to direct that the dead body of a person who has so died be removed to a mortuary or other suitable place whenever such body—
28. Local authority to remove and bury unclaimed bodiesA local authority shall be responsible for the removal and burial of bodies of destitute persons and of unclaimed bodies within its own district.
29. RulesThe Minister may make Rules applicable to all infectious diseases or only to such infectious diseases as may be specified therein, regarding the following matters—
Part V – Special provisions regarding certain formidable epidemic or endemic diseases
30. Formidable epidemic or endemic diseasesThis Part shall apply to smallpox, plague, cholera, yellow fever, cerebro-spinal meningitis, typhus, sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis and any other disease which the Minister may by notice declare to be a formidable epidemic or endemic disease for the purpose of this Part.
31. Power to make Rules for prevention of diseaseWhenever any part of Malawi appears to be threatened by any disease described in the last preceding section, the Minister may declare such part an infected area and may make Rules for all or any of the following purposes, namely—
32. Local authority to see to the execution of RulesThe local authority of any area within which or part of which Rules made under this Part are declared to be in force, shall do and provide all such acts, matters and things as may be necessary for mitigating any such disease, or aiding in the execution of such Rules, or for executing the same, as the case may require. A local authority may from time to time direct any prosecution or legal proceedings for or in respect of the wilful violation or neglect of any such Rules.
33. Power of local authority or medical officer of health to enforce RulesAny local authority or medical officer of health or any person duly authorized by any local authority or medical officer of health shall have power of entry on any premises or vehicle, for the purpose of executing or superintending the execution of any Rules so made by the Minister as aforesaid.
34. Notification of sickness or mortality in animals suspected of plague
35. Local authorities to report notification of formidable epidemic disease by telegraphEvery local authority shall immediately report to the Secretary for Health or the nearest medical officer of health by telegraph, or other expeditious means, particulars of every notification received by such authority of a case or suspected case of any formidable epidemic or endemic disease, or of any unusual sickness or mortality in animals made under the last preceding section.
36. Secretary for Health may requisition buildings
37. Penalties for offences against this PartAny person guilty of an offence against this Part shall be liable to a fine of £100 and to imprisonment for twelve months.
Part VI – Prevention of introduction of infectious diseases
38. Power to enforce precautions at borders of Malawi
39. Removal of infected persons from railway trains
40. Isolation or surveillance of persons exposed to infection
41. Powers of medical officers of health to inspect railway trains and medically examine passengers
Part VII – Smallpox
42. Definition of “protected person” “public vaccinator” “unprotected person” and “vaccination” in this PartFor the purposes of this Part—“protected person” means a person or child who is protected;“public vaccinator” means a public vaccinator appointed by the Secretary for Health and any person appointed by the Secretary for Health to assist or act for a public vaccinator and includes any registered or licensed medical practitioner;“unprotected person” includes a child and means a person who has not been protected from smallpox either by having had the disease, or by having been successfully vaccinated not less than fourteen days nor more than three years previously; and“vaccination” means the introduction into the skin of smallpox vaccine virus contained in a pure and tested vaccine lymph.
43. Vaccination of childrenThe parent or guardian of every child born in Malawi shall, after six months and within twelve months from birth, unless such child is unfit or has suffered from smallpox, cause such child to be successfully vaccinated by a public vaccinator.
44. Vaccination of persons in declared areas or entering Malawi
45. If adult or child unfit for vaccination certificate to be givenIf any public vaccinator shall be of opinion that any adult or child is not in a fit state to be vaccinated, he shall give to the adult or to the parent or guardian of the child a certificate under his hand that the adult or child is then in a state unfit for vaccination.The said certificate shall remain in force for six months only but shall be renewable for successive periods of six months until the public vaccinator shall deem the adult or child to be fit for vaccination, when the adult or child shall with all reasonable despatch be vaccinated.
46. Certificates to be given for successful vaccinationEvery public vaccinator who shall have performed the operation of vaccination upon any adult or child, and shall have ascertained that the same has been successful shall deliver to such adult or the parent or guardian of such child a certificate certifying that the said adult or child has been successfully vaccinated.
47. No fee to be charged for a certificate or for vaccination by public vaccinatorNo fee or remuneration shall be charged to the person vaccinated by any public vaccinator for any certificate granted under this Act, nor for any vaccination done by him in pursuance of this Act.
48. Vaccination of inmates of institutionsEvery superintendent or person in charge of a leprosy settlement, mental hospital, chronic sick hospital, goal, prison, reformatory, or other similar institution, shall where practicable, cause to be vaccinated within fourteen days following his admission to such institution every inmate thereof who, being in a fit state of health to undergo vaccination, fails to prove satisfactorily that he has been successfully vaccinated within the three years immediately preceding; if such person is at the time unfit to undergo vaccination, he shall be vaccinated as soon as he is so fit.
49. School attendance
50. Supply of vaccine lymph and inoculation from arm to arm, etc., forbiddenAny person who inoculates himself or any other person against smallpox with material taken from a person suffering from smallpox or from a vaccine vesicle on another person shall be guilty of an offence.
51. Power to order vaccination of all persons at anytime
52. Power to make RulesThe Minister may make Rules—
Part VIII – Venereal diseases
53. Venereal diseasesThe provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, in so far as they concern venereal diseases, shall be deemed to apply to primary or secondary syphilis, acute and chronic gonorrhea, gonorrheal ophthalmia, soft chancre, lymphogranuloma inguinale, ulcerating granuloma and any other disease that may be declared by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette to be a venereal disease.
54. Employment of infected persons
55. Publication of advertisements of cures
56. Prevention of the treatment of venereal disease otherwise than by registered or licensed personsNo person, unless he is a registered or licensed medical practitioner, or a State registered nurse, or other person certified by the Secretary for Health to be competent to diagnose and treat venereal disease, shall for reward treat any person for venereal disease or suspected venereal disease or prescribe any remedy therefor, or give any advice in connexion with the treatment thereof, whether the advice is given to the person to be treated or to any other person.
57. Conveyance of infection an offenceNo person shall wilfully or by culpable negligence infect any other person with venereal disease or do or permit or suffer any act likely to lead to the infection of any other person with such disease.
58. Offences and penalties
Part IX – Sanitation and housing
59. Nuisances prohibitedNo person shall cause a nuisance, or shall suffer to exist on any land or premises owned or occupied by him or of which he is in charge, any nuisance or other condition liable to be injurious or dangerous to health.
60. Duties of local authorities to maintain cleanliness and prevent nuisancesIt shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures for maintaining its area at all times in clean and sanitary condition, and for preventing the occurrence therein of, or for remedying or causing to be remedied, any nuisance or condition liable to be injurious or dangerous to health and to take proceedings at law against any person causing or responsible for the continuance of any such nuisance or condition.
61. Duty of local authorities to prevent or remedy danger to health arising from unsuitable dwellingsIt shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures for preventing or causing to be prevented or remedied all conditions liable to be injurious or dangerous to health arising from the erection or occupation of unhealthy dwellings or premises, or the erection of dwellings or premises on unhealthy sites or on sites of insufficient extent, or from overcrowding, or from the construction, condition or manner of use of any factory or trade premises, and to take proceedings under the law or rules in force in its area against any person causing or responsible for the continuance of any such conditions:Provided that no action shall be taken by any local authority in pursuance of this Part in respect of any factory if such action is calculated to interfere with the construction of any building or with the condition or manner of use of any machinery without the consent of the Chief Inspector of Factories.
62. What constitutes a nuisanceThe following shall be deemed to be nuisances liable to be dealt with in the manner provided in this Part—
63. Author of nuisanceThe author of a nuisance means the person by whose act, default or sufferance the nuisance is caused, exists or is continued, whether he be the owner or occupier or both owner and occupier or any other person.
64. Notice to abate nuisanceA local authority or a medical officer of health, if satisfied of the existence of a nuisance, may serve a notice on the author of the nuisance, or, if he cannot be found, then on the occupier or owner of the dwelling or premises on which the nuisance arises or continues, requiring him to abate it within the time specified in the notice, and if the local authority or medical officer of health thinks it desirable (but not otherwise) any work to be executed to abate or prevent a recurrence of the said nuisance may be also specified in the notice:Provided that—
65. Procedure in case owner fails to comply with notice
66. Penalties in relation to nuisance
67. Court may order local authority to execute works in certain casesWhenever it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the person by whose act or default the nuisance arises, or that the owner or occupier of the premises is not known or cannot be found, the court may at once order the local authority to execute the works thereby directed and the cost of executing the same shall be a charge on the property on which the said nuisance exists.
68. Provision in case of two orders for overcrowding relating to same premisesWhere the court has twice within a period of three months issued an order as specified in section 65 (2) relating to overcrowding of the same premises or part of the same premises the court may, on the application of a local authority, order such premises to be closed for such period as the court may deem necessary.
69. Power of saleAny matter or thing removed by a local authority in abating any nuisance under this Part may be sold by public auction, and the money arising from the sale may be retained by the local authority, and applied in payment of the expenses incurred by them in reference to such nuisance, and the surplus (if any) shall be paid, on demand, to the owner of such matter or thing if he shall establish his claim thereto within two years from the date of such sale, failing which such surplus shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
70. Persons jointly responsible for nuisances may be proceeded against
71. Demolition of unfit buildings
72. Prohibitions in respect of back-to-back dwellings and rooms without through ventilation
73. Cost of execution of provisions relating to nuisances
74. Examination of premisesA local authority or a health officer may, at all reasonable times, enter any premises for the purpose of ascertaining the existence of any nuisance therein; and the local authority may, if necessary, open up the ground of such premises and cause the drains to be tested, or such other work to be done as may be necessary for the effectual examination of the said premises:Provided that if no nuisance is found to exist the local authority shall restore the premises at their own expense.
75. Power to make RulesThe Minister may make Rules, and may confer powers and impose duties in connexion with the carrying out and enforcement thereof on local authorities, owners and others as to—
76. Rules as to buildings
77. Power to require removal or alteration of work not in conformity with Rules
Part X – Conservancy, sewerage and drainage
78. Interpretation of Part X
79. Provision of public sewers and sewerage disposal work
80. Duty of local authority to keep map showing public sewers
81. Power of local authority to alter or close public sewersA local authority may alter the size or course of any public sewer vested in it, or may discontinue and prohibit the use of any such public sewer, either entirely, or for the purpose of soil and waste water drainage, or for the purpose of storm water drainage, but, before any person who is lawfully using the public sewer for any purpose is deprived by the authority of the use of the sewer for that purpose, the authority shall provide a public sewer equally effective for his use for that purpose and shall at its expense make his drains or sewers to communicate with the sewer so provided.
82. Certain matters not to be passed into sewers or drains
Right to connect with public sewers
83. Right of owners and occupiers within district of local authority to drain into public sewersSubject to this section and section 86, the owner or occupier of any premises, or the owner of any private sewer, within the district of a local authority shall be entitled to have his drains or private sewer made to communicate with any available public sewer of that authority, and thereby to discharge soil and waste water and storm water from those premises or that private sewer:Provided that nothing in this section shall entitle any person—
84. Use of public sewers by owners and occupiers without the district of local authoritySubject as hereinafter provided, the owner or occupier of any premises and the owner of any private sewer without the district of a local authority shall have the like rights with respect to drainage into the available public sewers of the authority as he would have had under section 82 if his premises or private sewer were situate within its district and that section shall apply accordingly:Provided that, without prejudice to the prohibition contained in section 83 against the discharge of certain liquids or other matters into public sewers or into some public sewers or the right of a local authority under section 86 to refuse to permit a communication to be made on any of the grounds set out in subsection (1) of that section and to require the drain or private sewer to be laid open for inspection, the authority may, in the case of a drain or private sewer from premises outside its district, refuse to permit a communication to be made except upon such reasonable terms and conditions as may be prescribed or as the Minister may approve. Such terms and conditions may include—
85. Sewer connexions in streets and through private landFor the purpose of making or maintaining a communication with a public sewer it shall be lawful for a local authority to construct or repair a lateral drain or, with the prior consent of the local authority and in such manner as it may approve, for the owner of any building to construct or repair a drain or private sewer, as the case may be, in, on or over any land, but where such land does not form part of a street, such authority or owner shall give to every owner or occupier of such land reasonable notice and shall be liable to make good or, at the option of the authority or the owner undertaking the works, to pay for any damage done or occasioned by reason of the exercise of the said power:Provided that the works intended to be carried out in exercise of the powers herein conferred shall not interfere unduly with the amenities or future development of the land or any adjacent land and, in case of dispute, a person aggrieved may appeal in the manner set out in section 132 (e) and (f).
86. Procedure in regard to making communication with public sewers
Drainage and latrines or new buildings
87. New buildings to be provided with any necessary drains, etc.
88. Latrine accommodation to be provided for new buildingsWhere plans of a building or of an extension of a building are, in accordance with any building rules, deposited with a local authority, the authority shall reject the plans unless either the plans and the prescribed particulars deposited therewith show that the prescribed or sufficient and satisfactory latrine accommodation will be provided, or the authority is satisfied that in the case of a particular building or extension it may properly dispense with the provision of latrine accommodation:Provided that—
Drainage and latrines of existing buildings
89. Provisions as to drainage, etc., of existing buildings
90. Replacement of earth-closets, etc., by water-closetsIf any existing building in the district of a local authority has a sufficient water supply and a public sewer is available, the authority may, subject to section 78 (3), by notice to the owner of the building require that any latrines, other than water-closets, provided for, or in connexion with, the building shall be replaced by water-closets and that the owner shall make an application within a specified time to have his drain made to communicate with a public sewer under section 86, notwithstanding that the latrines are not insufficient in number and are not prejudicial to health or a nuisance.
91. Building or land having insufficient latrines or latrines so defective as to require reconstructionIf it appears to a local authority, having due regard to the purposes for which any building or land is used, that—
92. Buildings having defective latrines capable of repair
Drainage of buildings in combination
93. Drainage of buildings in combination
94. Payment of advances for defraying drainage expenses
95. RulesThe Minister may make Rules for the purpose of prescribing any matters required to be prescribed including the method of construction of any cesspool, earth-closet, privy, septic tank or sewer, or any other structure mentioned in this Part, and generally for carrying out the purposes of this Part.
Part XI – The prevention and destruction of mosquitoes
96. Breeding places of mosquitoes to be nuisancesFor the purpose of this Act—
97. Yards to be kept free from bottles whole or broken, etc.The occupier or owner of any premises shall keep such premises free from all bottles, whole or broken, whether fixed on walls or not, tins, boxes, calabashes, earthenware vessels, shells, or any other articles, and trees, standing or fallen, and tree stumps, in such a state or position as to be likely to retain water. Any occupier or owner of any premises failing to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of £5.
98. Clearance of bush or long grassNo person shall permit any premises or lands owned or occupied by him or over which he has control to become so overgrown with bush or long grass as, in the opinion of a medical officer of health, to be likely to harbour mosquitoes.
99. Wells, etc., to be coveredIt shall not be lawful for any person to keep, or for the occupier or owner of any premises to allow to be kept thereon, any collection of water in any well, barrel, tub, bucket, tank or other vessel intended for the storage of water, unless such well, barrel, tub, bucket, tank or other vessel is fitted with a sufficient cover, the said cover to be kept in good repair and properly protected or screened to the satisfaction of a medical officer of health so as to prevent the ingress of mosquitoes into the same. Any person offending against this section shall be liable to a fine of £5, and, after notice received from a local authority or a medical officer of health, to a further fine of £1 for each day during which he shall make default in complying with such notice:Provided that this section shall not apply to the keeping of water in a swimming pool the use of which has been authorized in writing by a local authority or medical officer of health.
100. Cesspits to be screened or protectedThe occupier or owner of any premises upon or attached to which is any cesspool or septic tank shall cause such cesspool to be properly protected or screened to the satisfaction of a medical officer of health so as to prevent the ingress of mosquitoes. Any persons offending against this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of £5, and to a further fine of £1 for each day during which he shall continue to make default after notice received from the local authority to comply with this section.
101. Larvae, etc., may be destroyed
102. Mere presence of mosquito larvae an offenceNotwithstanding any provision of this Act, the occupier or owner of any house or premises or the owner or person having the charge of any vessel, timber, cask, or other articles in or about which there is any collection of water found by a health officer, or any person authorized by him, to contain any of the immature stages of the mosquito, shall be liable in respect of each and every such collection of water to a fine of £5.
Part XII – Protection of foodstuffs
103. Construction and regulation of buildings used for the storage of foodstuffs
104. No person to reside or sleep in any room in which foodstuffs are stored, etc.
Part XIII – Water and food supplies
105. Duty of local authorities as to polluted water suppliesIt shall be the duty of every local authority to take all lawful, necessary and reasonably practicable measures—
106. Sale of unwholesome food prohibited
107. Seizure of unwholesome foodAny health officer or local authority or person duly authorized by such in writing, may, at any time between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. enter any shop or premises used for the sale or preparation for sale, or for the storage of food, to inspect and examine any food found therein which he shall have reason to believe is intended to be used as food for man, and should such food appear to such officer or authority to be unfit for such use, he may seize the same, and any magistrate may order it to be disposed of as in the last foregoing section. The onus of proving that such food was not intended to be used as food for man shall be upon the person charged.
108. PenaltyAny person in whose possession there shall be found any food liable to seizure under sections 106 and 107 shall be liable to a fine of K200 and to imprisonment for six months.
110. Fixing of standards for foodstuffs or other articles
111. Medical officer of health’s powers to make orders for protection of public healthA medical officer of health, if he reasonably considers such action necessary for the protection of the public health, may—
112. Power to make ordersThe Minister, may make orders—
Part XIV – Cemeteries
113. Cemeteries and crematoria to be appointed
114. List of authorized cemeteriesAll cemeteries now being used as such and such other cemeteries as may be authorized by the Minister, notice whereof shall be published in the Gazette, shall be deemed authorized cemeteries.
115. Permit to exhume
116. Exhumation needed for execution of public works
117. Record of permit for exhumationThere shall be kept at the office of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, a record of every permit granted and of every order made under the last two sections other than an order made by a magistrate. Such record shall contain particulars, so far as the same can be ascertained, of the race, nationality, name, sex and age of the persons buried, date of burial and of the place of original burial and re-burial or removal. Such record shall be open during office hours to inspection by any person.
118. Closing of cemeteries by MinisterIt shall be lawful for the Minister to notify in the Gazette that any authorized crematorium or cemetery shall, from a time in such notification to be specified, be closed, and the same shall be closed accordingly and whoever, after the said specified time, shall burn or bury any body or the remains of any body in the said crematorium or cemetery shall be liable to a fine of £75.
119. Cremations in places where no crematorium providedIn places where no crematorium is provided, it shall be permissible for cremations to be carried out at such places and under such conditions as are laid down by the local authority with the concurrence of the medical officer of health.
Part XV – General
120. Basements not to be occupied without permissionIt shall not be lawful without the written permission of the local authority on the advice of the medical officer of health to live in, occupy or use or to let or sublet, or to suffer or permit to be used any basement for habitation, nor to use such basement as a shop, office, workshop, or factory or for the preparation or storage of food, and no basement shall be used unless it is well lit and ventilated and is free from damp and is rendered ratproof to the satisfaction of a medical officer of health.
121. Lodging-housesThe Minister may make Regulations for the conduct and inspection of lodging-houses and no person shall open or keep open a lodging-house unless the house is registered and the keeper thereof is licensed by the local authority.
122. Nursing homes
123. Maternity and child welfareThe Minister may make Rules for the proper control and administration of clinics or institutions open or kept open by any person for the welfare and care of children or the care of expectant or nursing mothers.
124. Regulation of public washermenAny local authority may by public notice prohibit the washing of clothes by washermen in the exercise of their calling except at public wash-houses or at such other places as may be appointed for the purpose.
125. Control of irrigated land
126. Supervision of importation or manufacture of vaccines, etc.
Part XVI – Miscellaneous provisions
127. Authentication of notices, etc.
128. Service of notices, etc.Any notice, court summons, order or other document required or authorized to be served or issued under this Act may be served by delivering the same at the residence of the person to whom it is addressed, or, where it is addressed to the owner or occupier of premises, by delivering the same, or a true copy thereof, to some person on the premises, or, if there is no person on the premises who can be served, by fixing the same on some conspicuous part of the premises; it may also be served by post in a registered letter, and if so served shall prima facie be deemed to have been served at the time when the letter containing the same would be delivered in the ordinary course of post, and in proving such service it shall be sufficient to prove that the notice, court summons, order or other document was properly addressed and put in the post.
129. Powers and duties of the officers of the Ministry of HealthAny duties imposed or powers conferred by this Act on medical officers of health or health officers may be carried out or exercised by the Secretary for Health or any person designated by him for that purpose.
130. Defect in form not to invalidate notices, etc.No defect in the form of any notice or order made under this Act shall invalidate or render unlawful the administrative action taken or be a ground for exception to any legal proceedings which may be taken in the matter to which such notice or order relates, provided the requirements thereof are substantially and intelligibly set forth.
131. Powers of entry and inspection of premises and penalties for obstruction
132. Provisions as to appeals against and the enforcement of notices requiring execution of worksThe following provisions of this section shall, subject to any express modifications specified in the section under which the notice is given, apply with respect to appeals against, and the enforcement of, notices requiring the execution of works under this Act—
133. Execution of works
134. Certain expenses recoverable from owners to be a charge on the premises; power to accept payment by instalments
135. Power to make a charge in respect of establishment expensesWhere under this Act a local authority is empowered to execute works and to recover from any person the expenses incurred by it in so doing, it may include in, and recover as part of, the expenses an additional sum to cover customs duties and other charges and departmental expenses on such scale or in such manner as may be prescribed or as the Minister may direct.
136. Recovery of expenses, etc.
137. Protection of local authorities and their officers from personal liabilityNo matter or thing done and no contract entered into by any local authority, and no matter or thing done by any member of any such authority or by any officer of or acting on behalf of such authority or other person whomsoever acting under the direction of such authority, shall, if the matter or thing were done or the contract entered into bona fide for the purpose of executing this Act, subject any member, officer or person as aforesaid personally, to any action, liability, claim or demand whatsoever.
138. Penalties where not expressly providedAny person guilty of an offence against or contravention of, or default in complying with, any provision of this Act or any Rules made hereunder, shall, if no penalty is expressly provided for such offence, contravention or default, be liable to a fine of £100, and if the offence, contravention or default is of a continuing nature, to a further fine of £5 for each day during which he shall make default.
139. Liability of secretary or manager of companyWhere a contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or any Rule made hereunder is committed by any company or corporation, the secretary or manager thereof may be summoned and may be held liable for such contravention and the consequences thereof.
140. Proceedings against several personsWhere proceedings under this Act are competent against several persons in respect of the joint act or default of such persons, it shall be sufficient to proceed against on or more of them without proceeding against the others.
142. Power of local authority outside its districtNothing in any law specially governing any local authority shall be construed as preventing such local authority from exercising any power or performing any duty under this Act by reason only that in exercising such power or performing such duty it must do some act or thing or incur expenditure outside its district.
143. Power to make rules for purposes of this Act
144. SavingAll Rules, orders, proclamations, notices and appointments made under the Public Health Ordinance, 1932 (now repealed) shall, in so far as they are not inconsistent with this Act, be deemed to have been made hereunder, and shall continue in force until replaced by Rules, orders, proclamations, notices and appointments made under this Act.[5 of 1932]
History of this document
29 July 1948
|Public Health (Corona Virus Prevention, Containment and Management) Rules, 2020||Government Notice 5 of 2020|
|Public Health (Corona Virus and COVID-19) (Prevention, Containment and Management) Rules, 2020||Government Notice 48 of 2020|