World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN health agency requests exit screening of travellers

Ebola: UN health agency requests exit screening of travellers leaving affected countries

18 August 2014

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today said any persons with an illness consistent with Ebola should not be allowed to travel by air, sea or land from affected countries unless it is part of a medical evacuation, as it also expressed concern over the threats and harassment of health workers in West African countries developing into a “worry element.”

“Doctors, nurses and other health workers must be allowed to carry out their life-saving humanitarian work free of threat of violence and insecurity,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan in a statement issued a day before World Humanitarian Day 2014.

Threats and harassment of health workers in West African countries have also been a worrying element of the Ebola virus disease outbreak, WHO said. “These professionals are taking personal risks to provide critical medical care, but have been threatened, shunned and stigmatized.”

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has scheduled to meet with his Senior Coordinator on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Dr. David Nabarro arriving from Geneva. He is scheduled to speak to reporters at UN Headquarters tomorrow afternoon.

As the number of cases reported by WHO as of 13 August reached 2,127 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with a total of 1,145 deaths, the UN health agency today issued another update on travel and transport.

“Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection,” the update said.
“Any person with an illness consistent with EVD should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation. There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.”

WHO repeated that it “does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola Emergency Committee,” adding that the risk of a traveller becoming infected with the Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries and developing disease after returning is very low.
The health agency said in order to support the global efforts to contain the spread of the disease and provide a coordinated international response for the travel and tourism sector, the heads of WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) decided to activate a Travel and Transport Task Force to monitor the situation and provide timely information to the travel and tourism sector as well as to travellers.

The current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is believed to have begun in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves community transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and recently an ill traveller from Liberia infected a small number of people in Nigeria with whom he had direct contact.
The risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel is low. Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not spread by breathing air (and the airborne particles it contains) from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller.

WHO also appealed for countries to provide their citizens traveling to Ebola-affected countries with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

On tomorrow’s World Humanitarian Day, celebrated every 19 August, in addition to the Ebola-affected countries, WHO will draw attention to the continued trend of attacks on health-care workers, hospitals, clinics and ambulances in Syria, Gaza, Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and other areas.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news