Aviation experts at a regional meeting underlined the imperative need for measures to prevent transfer of communicable diseases through airlines from one country to another.
They suggested increasing cooperation among civil aviation authorities, public health authorities, airports, air traffic services and airlines of all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member countries to check spread of communicable diseases through aviation channels.The suggestions were made at 11th Regional CAPSCA-AP meeting Bangladesh is hosting for the first time.
ICAO’s Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and management of public health events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) and Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) jointly organized the four-day event. Delegations from 16 member countries and four associate bodies of ICAO are participating in it.
CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman inaugurated the international meeting while ICAO CAPSCA regional coordinator Parakrama Dissanayake and WHO team leader Hammam El Sakka also spoke at the opening session.
Rahman said the Bangladesh government has taken initiatives to prevent spread of all kinds of communicable diseases through the country’s international airports.
The government, he said, has set up a 24-bed hospital near the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) and runs medical centres at all international airports round the clock.
He urged all national and international airlines operating in Bangladesh to strictly follow ICAO regulations and guidelines to check spared of communicable disease through airlines at home and abroad.The CAPSCA is a global, collaborative arrangement, established in 2006 between international organizations, including ICAO, WHO, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI).
It aims to improve preparedness planning in States in the aviation sector for public health emergencies, or potential emergencies that can arise from communicable disease outbreaks such as Ebola Virus Disease.