Nigeria: Ebola - FAAN Intensifies Screenings After Congo Outbreak

A medical officer attends to a suspected ebola patient. Dr Mathew Lukwiya (inset) died of ebola when the disease first broke out in 2000.

As the Ebola virus continues to spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has intensified the screening of international passengers arriving Nigeria.

FAAN also debunked reports that it previously stopped screening for Ebola and other contagious diseases at the airport when Nigeria's Ebola outbreak was defeated in 2014.

But speaking yesterday at the airport, the FAAN Regional Manager, North/Airport Manager, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Mr. Sani Mahmud said FAAN "has never stopped screening for Ebola since the first outbreak" adding that FAAN has always had its scanners and sanitizers at the airport.

He said that FAAN's medical department, the Port Health Services and Pro-Health International have intensified cooperation to make sure no passenger with Ebola gets into Nigeria.

He said that the scanners deployed now are like cameras and can pick body temperatures from afar and trigger an alarm on the screen. When that happens, the port health officials will isolate the passenger and do further screening to be sure the passengers isn't sick.

After journalists witnessed the screening process, Dr Adamu Adamu, Head of Medical, FAAN, explain that the scanner detects high temperature of an individual which is the trigger for second degree screening for possible Ebola, Yellow fever or some other infectious diseases.

"I can assure you that over 95 per cent of people that come to this airport with high fever are detected and picked up" he assured.

He also noted that beyond the scanners, the health workers do due diligence to ensure everyone is safe in spite their heavy exposure to all passengers, some who might be sick.

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