Health News

WHO Trains Airport Staff On Sanitation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has held a three-day training workshop for stakeholders of the civil aviation and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on public health event management at points of entry (PoE) in air transport.

The goal of the training is to contribute to the strengthening of Ghana’s capacities to implement risk assessment approach to public health events.

Dr Owen Kaluwa, WHO Representative in Ghana, speaking at the workshop, highlighted that the interconnected nature of the world today facilitates the spread of diseases quickly across borders than ever before, thereby, making the training a timely one.

He said that by the end of the workshop, participants would be trained to assist port health authorities to respond in a consistent manner to events and to make decisions on interventions that are commensurable to the risks while avoiding interferences with international traffic and trade.

Participants were trained to assist authorities in Ghana in utilising the risk management model which includes event detection and notification, event verification, preliminary arrangements, public health response and monitoring and evaluation.

Ing. Simon Allottey, Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said that the collaborative involvement of multi-agencies was required to ensure that “our ports of entry are properly assessed and that best practices are adopted to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and other sanitation health risks.”

He further called for collaboration among the Ministry of Health, Port Health Unit, Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), Ground Handlers, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs, airline operators, The Airports Company, the airlines and all stakeholders to help achieve the goal of health safety in civil aviation.

“I would strongly recommend the establishment of a multi-sectoral committee of these stakeholders to develop appropriate policies and strategies in that regard,” he said.

John Attafuah, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), appreciated the critical and protective role played by Port Health in ensuring that it detects and reports on all health risks identified at the ports of entry.

He said that the GACL would co-operate with public health authorities in their surveillance activities to help identify outbreak of diseases and other health issues in order to control if not eliminate the various health risks under surveillance.

 By Abigail Owiredu-Boateng