The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as part of its global efforts to improve states’ preparedness, planning and responses to public health events is to visit the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, (MMA), and Lagos today, June 22, 2015.
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, who disclosed this to journalists yesterday in Lagos, explained that ICAO through its Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) had been visiting different regions in the world.
He further explained that the visit was to assess the preparedness of the aviation sectors and offer training sessions including several assistance visits to states and airports in Africa, taking into consideration the priorities established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as contained in the International Health Regulations 2005.
He added that the visit would promote and facilitate communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration between the public health sectors in the handling of public health events.
Usman stated that based on this, CAPSCA assistance visit would be conducted in Nigeria at the international wing of the Lagos Airport from June 22 to 23, 2015.
He stated that the team would be evaluating the level of emergency medical preparedness by the various agencies operating at the airport.
The Director General called on stakeholders to ensure maximum cooperation with the ICAO CAPSCA Assistance visit team during the exercise.
The NCAA boss listed the agencies involved in the assistance visit to include NCAA, Federal Ministry of Health(FMH)/Port Health Authority, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA) and Airlines; domestic and foreign operators.
Others are ground handling companies, security agencies; Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Directorate of State Security Services (DSS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) among others.
Also to be visited by ICAO team are; tourism agencies, which includes Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and others.
He further stated that the team while in Nigeria would visit 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, any other facility involved in public health emergency – a scenario of an aircraft arriving with a suspect case on board or a local outbreak. Usman added that at the end of the two day visit, the CAPSCA team, the state public health, civil aviation authority including all assistance visit participants would meet for a debriefing and discussion on the preliminary visit results.