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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in its global effort to improve states’ preparedness, planning and responses to public health events will be visiting the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMIA), on an Assistance visit.

ICAO through its Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) has been visiting different regions in the world.

This is to assess the preparedness of their aviation sectors and offer training sessions including several assistance visits to states and airports in Africa, taking into account the priorities established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as contained in the International Health Regulations (2005).

In addition, the visit will promote and facilitate communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration between the public health sectors in the handling of public health events.

To this end, a CAPSCA assistance visit will be conducted in Nigeria at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) from 22nd – 23rd June, 2015.

The team will be evaluating the level of emergency medical preparedness by the various agencies operating at the Airport.

It will be recalled that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had generated great concern and focussed attention on the aviation sector due to some reported cases linked to air travel.

The agencies involved in the assistance visit are the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Federal Ministry of Health/Port Health Authority, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA) and Airline operators (foreign and domestic).

Others are Ground Handling Agencies, Security Agencies – Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Police Force, Directorate of State Security Services. Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigeria Customs and Excise etc.

The tourism agencies – Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and others.

At the Airport, the following areas will be visited – Air Traffic Control Area Control Centre (ACC),Air Traffic Control Tower, Designated Aircraft Parking position, Airport and Emergency Operations Centre.

Others are Passenger Screening Location and facilities, Suspect Case and Contacts Interview and Assessment location and facilities, Affected ill passenger isolation and treatment location and facilities, Port Health and Medical Facilities and any other facility involved in public health emergency – a scenario of an aircraft arriving with a suspect case on board or a local outbreak.

At the end of the two – day visit, the CAPSCA team, the State Public Health, Civil Aviation Authority including all Assistance Visit participants will meet for a debriefing and discussion on the preliminary visit results.

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Muhtar Usman has called on all stakeholders to ensure maximum cooperation with the ICAO CAPSCA Assistance visit team during the exercise.

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