Mr Raphael Marfo, Assistant Chief Port Health Officer at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), has assured Ghanaians that the country was well-equipped to detect any case of Ebola and to contain it.
"I can assure you that if we get a case of an Ebola infected passenger, we would be able to detect it. If a case of Ebola is detected at the KIA, it would not mean that Ghana has failed but rather succeeded as early detection would help to contain the disease," Mr Marfo said in an interview with the GNA.
He said the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) had procured and installed three walk-through scanners for use in the arrival halls at the Kotoka International Airport.
The scanners, two of which have been deployed in the Terminal 2 (international arrival hall) and one in Terminal 1, which is also used for regional arrivals.
The scanners, made up of a computer and camera units, are used to scan passengers for elevated temperatures which might indicate the presence of Ebola or other conditions like swine flu (H1N1) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) SARS.
Mr. Marfo said the scanner would take x-ray like photographs of individual arriving passengers while detecting their temperatures.
It shows a red alert light when it detects temperatures above the normal range of 35-37.5 degrees Celsius and this would prompt health officials to move to the next line of action by isolating the target passenger.
The passenger would first be taken to the airport clinic for further checks and then to the designated isolation centre of the airport where other members of the airport medical pandemic team are notified and further action taken in line with the laid down procedures for a pandemic situation.
He said the new scanners had enhanced the Port health's ability to detect infections early and to contain any case that might be detected.
Mr Marfo said the use of the walk-through scanners was also more convenient for screening the large number of passengers that use the KIA in order not to create long holdups in the arrival halls as compared to hand held scanners.
The GACL also procured four hand held thermal scanners which are currently being used to screen passengers using the VVIP section of the airport, since the number of passengers using that section are lower.
Mr. Marfo said his outfit had held discussions with representatives of the UN Mission in Ghana and had agreed with them to critically screen all its staff whenever they leave and/or arrive through the KIA, especially since they would be frequenting Ebola hit parts of West Africa.
The GACL has also ordered an additional walk-through scanner to be installed at the international departures hall to screen out-bound passengers for signs of the disease.
The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease has become a global pandemic situation, prompting the United Nations to respond by setting up and deploying the UN Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) which is headquartered in Accra.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola cases totaled 7,492 out of which 4,108 had been confirmed and a total of 3,439 deaths at the end of September 2014.
Spain has also recorded an Ebola transmission case, the first outside Africa.
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