WASHINGTON (TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA) – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has directed airlines operating regional and international flights to exercise high level of vigilance against the Ebola virus disease now hitting the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, and regional civil aviation authorities have been taking pro-active measures to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
The NCAA said pilots should report to air traffic controllers any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flights.
In his statement, the NCAA General Manager Public Affairs, Sam Adurogboye, said: “In case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 respectively”.
The completed forms are then to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome.
Adurogboye said the airlines are to ensure they have on board valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs) and Emergency Medical kits before embarking on a flight.
Airlines should also train their crew on improved and sustained proficiency in handling and communication with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
The NCAA said in case of the death to a patient, airlines should contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
Airlines are also to report to NCAA in writing any suspected case of communicable disease on board any flight.
The Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) shall immediately communicate to Port Health Services (PHS) any report of a suspected case of communicable disease on board aircraft in line with Nigerian regulations, he said, adding that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority expects “strict compliance and will collaborate with all relevant agencies to prevent the incursion of Ebola or any communicable disease into the country”.