8 Functions of Port Health Services In Nigeria

8 functions of port health services in Nigeria
8 functions of port health services in Nigeria


What exactly are the functions of Port Health Services in Nigeria?


There is continuous movement of people as well as goods from one country to another.

The government of any given country has to ensure that the health of its citizens are not adversely affected as a result of these movements.

In this post, we will give a snapshot of the functions of the Ports Health Services in Nigeria.

What Do We mean by Port Health Services?

Port Health Services is a Division under the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).

It has specific assignments regarding taking care of health related issues surrounding the ports.

You may read up the Functions of the Ministry of Health in Nigeria.

What Do We Mean By Ports?

Let us look at ports as portals, of entry or of exit.

When we talk of the ports, we talk of the entry and exit points to a country; that is, the officially designated places through which people can enter or leave Nigeria, as well as bring in goods or move goods out of Nigeria.

The Division of the Ministry of Health charged with health functions at these entry and exit points is the Port Health Services.


When we talk of how people and goods leave and enter Nigeria, we are basically talking about three avenues. They are:

1) Airports

2) Sea ports

3) Land borders


These are the hubs where people come into or leave Nigeria using the planes as a means of transportation.

Airports in Nigeria are regulated and controlled by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)

The international airports in Nigeria are:

1) Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos—This is the busiest airport in Nigeria. It has both International and Domestic Terminals.

2) Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja FCT—This is located at the nation’s capital and is the second busiest Nigerian airport.

3) Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

4) Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

5) Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, Enugu State

6) Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Cross River State

Sea ports

People and goods also come into Nigeria through the Ports. Ships travel on seas in order to convey people and goods from one country to another.

The Seaports in Nigeria are regulated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The major ports in Nigeria are:

1) Lagos Port Complex, Lagos

2) Tin Can Island Port Complex, Lagos

3) Calabar Port Complex, Cross River State

4) Delta Ports, Warri, Delta State

5) Rivers Port Complex, Rivers State

6) Onne Port, Rivers State

Land Borders

These are transition points from one country to another. People can pass on foot or by the use of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and other means of transportation.

Nigeria currently has about 22 official land borders.

Aim Of Port Health Services

The aim of the Ports Health Division is to make it healthy, safe and easy for people and goods to move from one country to the other, in this case from Nigeria to other countries and from other countries to Nigeria.


The vision of Port Health Services is to achieve healthier, safer and easier international movement of people and goods.


The Mission is to provide prompt and effective first class services in line with the global best practices for reduction of morbidity, mortality and disability due to communicable and non-communicable diseases at points of entry/ exit.

8 Functions Of Port Health Services In Nigeria

To fulfill its vision and mission, the Port Health Services carries out some functions in this regard.

Functions of Port Health Services are as follows:

1) Disease Surveillance Activities And Measures.

When we talk of disease surveillance, we mean a way of monitoring, the rates of disease occurrence in terms of new occurence, and then also tracking those that have disease.

In this era of globalization, people travel seamlessly from one country to another. It is very easy for diseases to make their way into the country.

The Port Health Services carry out surveillance activities and monitoring of diseases to all so that they can be able to place the nation on alert when an unfavourable trend in disease inflow is noticed.

There are diseases that are called “notifiable diseases”. This means that anytime they occur or someone with the disease is noted, it should be documented and reported to the appropriate authorities.

2) Boarding And Inspection Of Ships, Aircrafts And Land Vehicles.

The Port Health Services are present at the airports, seaports and land borders

They inspect the ships, even inspect aircraft, all in a bid to ensure that the health of the passengers is guaranteed.

3) Environmental Health Activities

The Port Health Services also undertakes activities to ensure environmental health.

When we talk of pollution control, this includes air pollution, noise pollution and so on.

The aim of environmental health is to have a clean and conducive environment that is free from pollution and associated hazards. These pollutants have a negative effect or negative impact on people’s health.

4) Provision Of Curative And Preventive Health Care Services, Including Referral And Laboratory Services.

So what are services they offer?

They have a clinic where they can provide medical services to people that are sick at that point. They can also refer cases that need specialist attention to other levels of hospitals.

They are also involved in preventive health care.

5) Control Of Food Processing And Screening Of Food Handlers.

Aircrafts and ships provide food, drinks and edibles to passengers while in transit. People who prepare and serve these foods are screened by Port health Services.

This is to ensure that they are not carrying any disease that may be transmitted both to the food, through the food or to other people putting lives at risk.

6) Disinsection, Decontamination Of Food And Food Products, Equipments, Vessels, Premises, Luggage Parcels And Secondhand Goods.

We know that people bring in a lot of goods into the Nigeria.

The Ports Health Services ensure that goods that enter the country are free from insect vectors as well as contaminants.

7) Immunization

The Ports Health also undertake immunization.

They issue Yellow Cards to Christian pilgrims travelling to Israel as well as those travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. The Yellow Card shows that the individual has received their Yellow fever immunization.

Some of these immunizations are necessary to also protect the travelers.

An example of an immunization you can get at the Port health Services is Yellow Fever immunization.

8) Public Health Response To Disasters, .eg. Plane Crash, Deportees, Returnees, Refugees.

The Port Health Services respond in times of disasters and emergencies. These may include air disaster, refugee situations, disease outbreaks (epidemic or pandemic), and also during mass influx of people such as deportees.

They also are involved in seeing that the health of these people are maintained to an optimum level.

They can issue services, maybe even treatment or screening services to these people


The Port Health has enormous responsibilities in securing the health of Nigerians at the points of exit and entry into the country. They are a Division of the Federal Ministry of Health and they focus especially on the airports, seaports and land borders.


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