Airport chief seeks awareness campaign vs Ebola

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2014 03:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2014 10:19 PM

MANILA -- The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will seek the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH), through the Bureau of Human Quarantine, to conduct an awareness campaign against Ebola.

The campaign is especially aimed at the government and non-government personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who have direct interaction with passengers.

"Let me underscore that the call is not meant to instigate fear or alarm the public or airport workers. The intention is to keep everyone informed about Ebola and how they can do their jobs everyday without living in fear or anxiety," MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said on Sunday.

"While there is news in tri-media, it's different when you hear it from people of authority to speak on the issue," he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Ebola a "public health emergency of international concern," as the United Nations agency called for public awareness on Ebola so as not to cause panic.

"To the best we can and as far as allowable under government regulations, we are willing to support the Bureau of Human Quarantine to run an awareness campaign in NAIA," Honrado said.

The MIAA has done a similar collaboration with the quarantine bureau during the SARS outbreak in 2002.

That year, thermal scanners were also procured and more health screeners were hired to strengthen NAIA's border control against SARS. Thermal screening has since been a standard operating procedure conducted on inbound passengers as they deplane.

Frontline personnel in NAIA is composed of airline and ground handling staff, customs, immigration, health doctors, bridge operators, janitorial personnel and public relations staff, among others.