The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has called for a high level of vigilance by airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country.
The NCAA, in a circular with ref number NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated May 11, 2018, and dispatched to all operating airlines, stated that the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8, necessitated the directive.
According to the regulator, the outbreak has yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation as a public health event of international concern, but the Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have, however, been taking concerted steps to ensure that the virus does not creep into Nigeria.
The NCAA said in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, that to forestall the EVD infiltration, all pilots were to report to the Air Traffic Control any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flights in line with the Nig.CARs 188.8.131.52.
The statement added, “In case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, the aircrew are to fill the general declaration and public health passenger locator forms in line with the Nig.CARs 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, respectively.
“Completed general declaration and public health passenger locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services of the destination aerodrome. Airlines are to ensure they have on board valid and appropriate number of first aid kits, universal precaution kits and emergency medical kits in line with Nig. CARs 18.104.22.168.”
The NCAA also urged airlines to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in handling and communicating with the ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board, and to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
“The NCAA will continue to collaborate with all relevant agencies to ensure that the Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan developed for the guidance of aviation stakeholders is adhered to. This will prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through our air borders,” the agency added.
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