Ebola: US donates $500,000 screening equipment to Lagos airport

by S’ola Filani

The United States has donated equipment worth $5,000 to boost screening of the Ebola Virus Disease at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The latest gesture is in a bid to further strengthen current efforts at containing the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

A statement by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said the US Consul General in Nigeria, Mr. John Hawkins, made the donation at the airport at the weekend.

The statement said Hawkins had expressed satisfaction with the timely response of the Nigerian government to the contagious disease since its importation into the country by a Liberian-American, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, in July.

While commending the measures already in place at the airport to check the spread of the disease, Hawkins pointed out that the disease was neither a Nigerian nor West-African problem but a problem to humanity as a whole.

“The donation of the equipment is a symbol of willingness on the part of the American Government to assist Nigeria in any way possible to combat the scourge,” he said.

The statement noted that the portable handheld equipment, known as infra-red thermometers or non-contact thermometers, has the ability to measure the body temperature of in-bound and out-bound passengers for possible Ebola symptoms from a distance.

It added that agencies at the airport were commended for their collaboration since the first reported case of the virus in Nigerian stating that FAAN was particularly applauded for providing the necessary infrastructure for the Port Health Services and collaborating agencies to effectively discharge their duties in the face of the threat posed by the rampaging virus.

Screening of passengers which was initially restricted to in-bound passengers from West-African countries has since been expanded to include all in-bound and out-bound passengers from all destinations.

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