Ebola – why Stopping flights from Africa does not solve the problem


As the media makes a killing over the virus touching the homeland. We’ve seen various calls from individuals (mostly those who consume what is peddled by the media) to outright ban flights from West Africa. Some have even suggested banning flights from the continent as a whole (which shows the height of stupidity). Whenever I see such chatter, all I can say is how easy it is to make rash judgment when the burden of responsibility is not on you.

First of all, stopping flights from a country might seem like the easiest solution, but it does not solve the problem. What of connecting flights? In cases like francophone countries who have unfettered access to French and Belgium, do you also ban flights from there also? This constitutes an administrative and political nightmare. Which is why I said, most of the chatter of banning flights from Africa is just plain naïve, as it does not solve the problem.

The only and best solution is to institute stringent screening measures at the country’s ports of entry. We should collaborate with these transit countries to ensure they have their own screening measures implemented at their airports. This will ensure that any individual who is showing signs of being infected should not be allowed in a plane with other US nationals. At the US port of entry, EVERY individual entering the United States of America through a plane should also be thoroughly screened. This was the tactic employed by the Nigerian government – who remains the only country to have successfully contained the virus spread. The Nigerian government never blocked flights from Liberia or any of the ground zero countries, instead they went about the business of securing their ports of entry.

This is the only way the spread of the virus can be contained from further entry into the US.


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