Friday 27 November 2015

NIGERIA: FAAN Begins Passenger Screening For Diseases At Abuja Airport

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said it had intensified surveillance at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to checkmate "import" of infectious diseases.

Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN's Deputy General Manager, Corporate Affairs, who disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that all agencies operating at the airport had been put on alert.

Yakubu said that the authority was working closely with the Port Health Services and other relevant agencies to ensure that all international passengers were properly screened on arrival.

She disclosed that FAAN's medical team had been put on red alert, adding that all staff had also been cautioned on the need to maintained restraints in their contact with passengers.

According to her, FAAN has sensitised all agencies' representatives in the airport on the need to watch out for any incoming passenger with either high fever, headache or body aches.

"The officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the rest have all been informed about this.

"Recently, we heard over the media that Ebola had resurfaced in Liberia; the head of the port health services in the airport consequently sent a circular to all agencies informing them to be alert.

"The circular also asked the staff to be wary of being too close to passengers," she said.

Yakubu said that health officials at the port had increased surveillance of passengers coming into the country through the international wing of the airport.

She said that the surveillance was currently being carried out at the international arrival area, but would be extended to the local wing.

An official of the port health services, who pleaded anonymity, said that the surveillance was a response to the reported case of Ebola in Liberia.

The official said all staff of the agencies at the airport had been advised to avoid close contact with arriving passengers before they were screened.

According to the official, health officials have also been reminded to always protect themselves before having contact with passengers by always wearing their gloves and other kits.

"And so far, the response has been very impressive because there is high level of compliance from the agencies.

"We will do everything within our power to make sure that the virus does not resurface in this country because we don't want to imagine that experience again," the source said, and urged passengers to cooperate with the authorities.

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