The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned repatriation of corpses into the country as a way of preventing Ebola.
Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, on Thursday, said the return of a corpse from Kinshaha, Congo, into the country prompted the decision. He added that the act violated relevant regulation of the Ministry of Health.
“The decision of the government is crucial in the light of the fact that in 2014, Patrick Sawyer introduced Ebola to Nigeria when he arrived from Liberia”, he said.
"Kenya Airways flew the corpse into Nigeria without getting the necessary clearance from the Port Health Services of the ministry which issues guidelines for waiver before such repatriation is carried out."
“The Federal Government of Nigeria and relevant agencies condemn this deliberate breach.”
He however noted that in line with industry practice, a report had been lodged with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to probe the incident and sanction the airline accordingly.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari takes the health of her citizens seriously and will not shy away from wielding the big stick on any errant individual or organisation,” Adewole warned.
By Tony Nwanne