The ongoing Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) strike would not hinder the screening of travellers coming into the country, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said.
The minister, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, said health workers at the nation’s ports were not part of the JOHESU’s strike, adding that government had a mechanism of screening travellers coming in and going out of the country.
“There will be screening at the airport and borders. We have also put in place a screening form to help track where people are coming from and going to as this will help improve surveillance,” he said.
The screening form will be particularly for people coming from the West and Central Africa regions. Emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders have been set up so that we can keep Nigerians safe, he added.
Currently, there is an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo leading to some deaths.
“Part of the new measures to be taken include screening passengers coming into the country. Not only that, we will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neigbouring countries.
“We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unaware,” he said.
Ebola, like other infectious diseases, has a tendency of spreading across border through human migration, if not well monitored.
In 2014, the disease was imported to Nigeria through a Liberian Diplomat who flew to Nigeria in an attempt to get to the US after contacting the disease in Liberia.
As a result of this, eight Nigerians died from the disease and many others were infected. Majority were health workers.
The minister said to minimise the risk of importing the disease, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is currently coordinating a national working group that is assessing and managing the risk to Nigeria.