The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has urged airlines to be vigilant due to the resurgence of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A statement by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said the resurgence of the disease forced the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in line with International Health Regulations (IHR).
According to Adurogboye, the directive was contained in a letter by NCAA’s Director General, Captain Muktar Usman.
In the letter, NCAA directed airlines’ Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flight in line with Nig.CARs 220.127.116.11.
In case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, the aircrew , NCAA are required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
Adurogboye said: “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 on board valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs) and Emergency Medical kits in line with Nig.CARS 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
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 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 Nig. CARs 184.108.40.206.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) expects strict compliance and will collaborate with all relevant agencies to prevent the incursion of Ebola or any communicable disease into the country.”