ICAO Commends Nigeria on Preventing Ebola

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has commended Nigeria for preventing Ebola Virus Disease from spreading in the country when the Liberian, the late Patrick Sawyer arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos with the disease.

This was made known by the head of the team of the programme, the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA), Mr. Micheil Vredeenburgh during a two-day visit to inspect the health facilities and train health personnel at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

They said Nigeria’s effort was a clear indication that the country was making progress in the implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations at her points of entry.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ebola was first reported in Nigeria in July 2014 when a Liberia-American man, Patrick Sawyer, tested positive to the virus after arriving in the country through the MMIA, Lagos.

Twenty persons contacted the virus while eight casualties were recorded before Nigeria eventually overcame the problem and the WHO declared Nigeria Ebola-free on October 20, 2014.

Michael Vreedenburgh, CAPSCA Programme Global Coordinator at the ICAO Headquarters, said the people and government of Nigeria must be given credit for the successful containment of the virus.

Vreedenburgh said the voluntary technical visit was a follow up to CAPSCA’s visits to the country in 2009 and 2011.

According to him, the aim of the visit is to assess the preparedness of the aviation sector, taking into account the priorities established by the WHO to contain outbreak of communicable diseases.

He said:

“Public health remains an area of great concern because outbreaks can occur for any reason, anywhere and at anytime.

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

In his remark, Dr. Harry Opata, Disease Surveillance Response, WHO/Africa Regional Office, said the organisation was keen for countries to implement its international health regulations which came into effect in 2007.

Opata said:

“I would like to congratulate Nigeria for the quick containment of the Ebola Virus Disease last year.”

ECA Rates Nigeria High In Road Safety [2015]

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has adjudged Nigeria as one of the best three performers among 23 countries in accomplishing activities of the African Road Safety Action plan.

This is according to a mid-term review report from the Third African Road Safety Conference organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), which took place in Addis Ababa.

According to Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, while reacting to Nigeria’s ranking and her accomplishment, he stated that the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi, appreciated the Federal Government’s efforts in ensuring the enduring road safety culture is continually imbibed; he also showered encomium on the resilience of the officers and men of the Corps.

The African Road Safety Action Plan, which owes its roots to the 2011 UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, placed priority on understanding of road safety institutional arrangements, road safety management and related activities, achievements, opportunities and challenges in African countries.

Kazeem revealed that the report from the conference stated that 40 percent of member countries are in the process of implementing more road safety management activities.

It listed Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa as the leading countries with clear prospects of accomplishing the activities of the African Road Safety Action Plan.

He added: “Performance of the Plan is measured based on road safety management, mobility, vehicles, road users, and post-crash response.”

It noted that varying results have thus far defined the afore-listed performance indicators, given that some countries record high rates of successes in some areas, but record low performances in others.

However, he stated that the report observed progress has so far been made.

It also advised that the importation of safer and newer vehicles and improved traffic education in schools are sure steps to reducing Road Traffic Crashes.

The conference was organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with African Union Commission, Sub-Sahara African Transport Policy Programme, Global Road Safety Facility of the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Road Federation.