By Samson Echenim
With the resurgence of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 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.
In line with International Health Regulations (IHR), the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The directive by the authority was contained in a letter signed by the NCAA Director General and has since been sent to all airline operators.
In the letter, NCAA directed that airlines’ Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flight in line with Nig.CARs 126.96.36.199.
In a statement by the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, general manager, Public Affairs, 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 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 respectively”.
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 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.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.