Inauguration of Public Health Emergency Response Plan for the Kotoka International Airport

Posted: 
12/06/17
Themes: 
Migration Health

Accra – IOM Ghana and partners just launched a new Public Health Emergency Response Plan (PHERP) for the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as part of the Global Security Health Agenda (GHSA) project.

The PHERP is a reference document with protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for mitigating against the spread of infectious diseases through air transport. The plan provides the basis for a multi-sector and multi-state response to public health emergencies at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). The plan will complement KIA’s existing emergency response plan ensuring a holistic approach to handling public health emergencies as well as increasing the airport’s International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) core capacities.

While the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak was mostly confined to the neighboring West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, largely due to high movement between those countries; the disease also spread to Nigeria, demonstrating the potential for spread of infectious diseases through air travel.

Since 2016, IOM Ghana has been working with the United States Center for disease Control (CDC), the Ghanaian Health Service (GHS), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and various other partners at KIA, to develop a PHERP that integrates with the airport’s emergency preparedness plans and operations with a health dimension.

In March 2017, officials participating in the project were given the opportunity to spend two weeks in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on a study tour of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The shared practices and exchanges contributed to the development of the PHERP document for KIA. This work has come at a time when Ghana’s aviation industry is experiencing noticeable growth, and is attracting more carriers within and outside the sub region.

The Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Ing. Simon Christopher Allotey praised IOM and all airport partners for this important achievement saying that “We may not be able to stop diseases but we can mitigate their risks through capacity building. The time has come to take the steps to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.”

This project is part of a 5-country regional project to implement the GHSA, focusing on Points of Entry (POEs) to support the prevention, detection, and response efforts of the government to infectious disease outbreaks and Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEICs). It is funded by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and jointly implemented by IOM Ghana and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

For further information, please contact:

PK Mensah at IOM Ghana, Email: pkmensah@iom.int, Tel: 024 432 8105.

  • IOM Ghana and partners inaugurated a new Public Health Emergency Response Plan for the Kotoka International Airport last week. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017