The reported deportation of 125 Nigerians with alleged fake yellow fever cards by the South Africa immigration service has again been condemned by the federal government.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu stated that Nigeria is not endemic for yellow fever and there is no epidemic right now.
He stated that the last confirmed cases of yellow fever in Nigeria were in 1995 when 25 cases were recorded with only one death.
“There is absolutely no reason for these travelers to have being deported, and in so doing, it is assumed to have being embarrassing and humiliating.”
The Minister noted that the approved vaccination centers have been issuing yellow cards and where there is any doubt about the authenticity of the yellow cards given to any traveler, should have being reported to the Federal Ministry of Health.
“The action of the South African immigration on the Nigeria travelers is certainly against international health regulations issued by the World Health organization 2005, Section 32” he stated.
Professor Chukwu stated emphatically that “no country, no individual or group has made any report to the Ministry on the possession of fake yellow card by an individual.”
“If there are such cases, the ministry will like to have the report for necessary investigation” he added.
He noted that “it is curious that a country that had issued entry visas to intending travelers which issuance was predicated on the presentation of a valid yellow card will then turn around to deport those travelers.”
However, the Minister advised Nigerians to ensure they get vaccinated and get the yellow card before travelling to countries that require the yellow card.