Ebola; FAAN activates screening processes at airports
Following the recent deaths caused by the deadly Ebola virus in some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN has commenced steps to activating the screening of air passengers across airports in Nigeria.
FAAN had in 2014 launched an Ebola prevention programme across airports in the country, following the introduction of the virus in Nigeria, by late Liberian Business man Patrick Sawyer.
General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, revealed that the installed facilities in 2014 were very much active while passengers coming into Nigeria especially from Central Africa would henceforth be requested to present their Ebola vaccination cards.
“We installed thermal scanners and we never removed them. They were mounted in the arrival hall. The thermal scanners have been there, but we have activated them now that there is threat of Ebola. When the Ebola virus started, we were using thermometer, handheld, to detect those who might have the disease. But now we have gone way beyond that. People pass through scanners everyday but they don’t know the thermal scanners are there and as they walk past, it checks their temperature.
“The scanners are monitored, but as a passenger, you will pass through them without knowing that you are being watched. But if your temperature is 38 degrees or above, an alarm will sound like a whistle, and you will be held back. This will alert port health officials who are monitoring. They will excuse the passenger. We have isolation clinics at the airside. This is to ensure that passengers are checked from the aircraft into the terminal building before they come to the arrival hall. From the airside they will be tested and if they are positive they will be put in the isolation clinic that we have created, where further screenings will be conducted on them,” she said.
She added that FAAN’s medical personnel at the offices have been pulled out due to the strike by the Joint Health Sector Union JOHESU.
“Our medical personnel are complementing the staff of port health. We have the medical personnel at all the major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Enugu that operate international flights and we want to ensure that nobody with the disease can enter the country without being detected,” she said.