Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not a global health emergency, authorities in Nigeria are taking no chances as they have intensified surveillance at entry ports and are now rigorously screening air passengers coming into the country through any of the international airports, all in a bid to prevent possible importation of the virus.
In 2014, Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer introduced the Ebola virus disease into the country after being carelessly allowed by Liberian authorities to travel to Nigeria for a conference in Calabar despite being aware that Sawyer was under surveillance in Monrovia for Ebola infection. Eight deaths were recorded out of the nineteen confirmed cases that resulted from the outbreak.
But the Nigerian government earned praises globally for the way it responded and effectively contained the situation.
With the new outbreak in the Congo that has resulted in about forty five cases of infection and about 25 deaths, theNigerian authorities are taking proactive measures to ensure that passengers from any part of the world are effectively profiled so that another Sawyer situation does not occur.
Our crew was in the group of few journalists given access to the Immigration point at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos where officials explained how the arriving passengers are being checked and profiled to ensure that they are "clean" to come into the country and other measures put in place to handle any health emergency.