The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed all operators, especially airlines operating regional and international flights into the country, to exercise a high level of vigilance.
This directive is coming on the heels of the World Health Organization WHO declaration of the resurgence of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in line with International Health Regulations.
The directive was contained in a letter signed by the NCAA Director General and sent to all airline operators.
According to the statement, the General Manager, Public Affairs NCAA, Sam Adurogboye says the letter, directs that airlines’ Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight.
In case of a suspected case of communicable disease onboard an aircraft, aircrew is required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms.
Thereafter, completed forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome.
In addition, airlines are to ensure they have onboard, valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs) and Emergency Medical kits.
Airlines are to refresh the knowledge of their Crew members (flight deck and cabin crew) for improved and sustained proficiency in handling and communication with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
In case of death to a patient, operating airlines should endeavour to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
Airlines are to report to NCAA in writing any suspected case of communicable disease onboard any flight.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it expects strict compliance and will collaborate with all relevant agencies to prevent the incursion of Ebola or any communicable disease into the country.