SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Livingstone
MINISTER of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba says the aviation sector in Africa must develop a robust disease surveillance
system and aviation emergency plans that address threats from public health emergencies of international concern.
Mr Mushimba said Zambia, like many other countries on the continent, has realised that public health events have no geographic, ethnic or political boundaries, as diseases may spread like a bush fire if measures are not put in place to prevent their spread.
He said the upgrades of airports would not only increase the volume of traffic and passengers but would also present a public health challenge due to the threat of diseases migrating from one country to another.
He said this in a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary Misheck Lungu in Livingstone recently during the 7th meeting of Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) Africa Project and Training of CAPSCA Technical Advisors.
Mr Mushimba observed that statistics show that African is poised for growth in aviation particularly in passenger traffic that is estimated at an average growth of 6.4 percent between 2013 and 2023.