Sierra Leone: Keeping Travelers and Staff Safe at Lungi International Airport

The IOM Health and Humanitarian Border Management (HHBM) project currently in Phase II of operations, began on 17 November 2014 to monitor the Exit and Entry Health Screening (EEHS) SOP at Lungi International Airport (FNA) in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Port Health, the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, the Sierra Leone Airport Authority and the International Security Advisory Team. Since that time it has achieved 100% coverage across all UN and commercial flights to Sierra Leone and as of June 2015 has screened over 60,000 passengers. The Airport project team of 25 monitors and support staff which works in shifts 24/7 has also developed a training curriculum for Airport personnel, a pocket guide on the EEHS SOP and trained over 300 Immigration, Police and Health personnel.

IOM’s mobile training teams have also conducted Infection Prevention and Control training for IOM Airport monitors as well as Airport personnel.

In January, February and again in April, IOM implemented Emergency Simulation Exercises to test and improve the entry and exit health screening process and general health security throughout the Airport by using Ebola survivors employed at IOM’s National Ebola Training Academy in Freetown to act out preplanned emergency scenarios. This project and related activities ensure that the commercial viability of the Airport- an indispensable lifeline for Sierra Leone- remains intact despite the epidemic.

Since 1 June 2015, HHBM project activities have rapidly expanded to land borders in Kambia and Bombali on the Guinea border, seaports in Freetown, and inter-district boundaries inside Sierra Leone between Kambia and Port Loko, the last major hotspots in the country.

In support of the Government of Sierra Leone’s recently announced Operation Northern Push, IOM has scaled up activities in Kambia district in a push to get to zero new Ebola cases by early July. (IOM PBN from 19 June 2015 on HHBM expanded activities)

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