West African Governments Deploy Scam “Ebola Virus Detectors” at Airports, Border Check Points
The bogus Ebola devices used by Nigeria, elsewhere follow use of similar fake HIV and Hep-B “Detectors” in Egypt and fraudulent “explosive detectors” in Iraq, Africa, Asia to combat terrorism. Technology first banned in U.S. as fraudulent “lost golf ball finder.”
By Nate Thayer
September 28, 2014
Last month, Nigerian authorities announced they were deploying “laser jet scanners” that could “detect carriers of the Ebola virus” at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
“For every passenger that is leaving or coming in they check them. They use what is called an infrared thermometer to check their temperature,” said Henrietta Yakubu, Corporate communications for FAAN Abuja Airport. If the device detects you have Ebola “you are isolated and further checks are done on you.”
The problem is the high tech looking contraptions now in widespread use in West African countries, including Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere are useless scams.
No such “Ebola virus detection” technology exists.
“There are no true virus detection technologies available today,” Ebola expert Dr Leslie Lobel of Ben Gurion University told the respected Industry journal Jane’s Airport Review last month.
That fact didn’t stop the Nigerian government from purchasing scores of the worthless machines and the local media from spreading the false claims.
“The Nigerian government says it has installed infrared thermal detectors in two of its international airports and land borders all aimed at preventing the spread of Ebola virus,” said the national television TVC NEWS in Lagos this month.
In a government symposium for health worker titled “Ebola: Fear Not” in September, Jide Jimoh, Chairman of the Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State announced the government had purchased high-tech devices “to scan everybody coming into the council premises in the wake of the outbreak of Ebola virus disease.”
“We have purchased the infrared temperature screening instrument… to control infection with the virus,” he said.
Nigeria Today headlined that the “Yaba LCDA procures infrared Ebola detector.”
The devices are, in fact, nothing more than fancy looking hand-held thermometers said to be capable of taking the temperature of people by scanning their body without contact. It is said to be able to detect whether someone is running a fever.
But the contraptions are being marketed as “Ebola Virus Detection Devices” and manufactured primarily by unregulated factories in China.
Similar looking devices–also proven to be scientific hocus-pocus and useless–were sold to Nigeria and many other governments and militarily in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America purported to be “explosive detection devices.”
In Egypt, the current military government has claimed the exact same device can not only detect bombs, but the HIV virus and Hepatitus-B.
Similar devices were first exposed as using worthless technology when marketed as able to locate lost golf balls.
A company called “Silver Solutions Limited” sells a “HAND-HELD EBOLA VIRUS DETECTOR.”
The “TECOS AWH 238 Handheld Fore-head thermometer (body temperature detector)”, according to the company, can detect “hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) body temperature & H1N1 swine flu body temperature & H3N2 flu body temperature & H7N9 bird flu body temperature & EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE(EVD)human fever.”
The company adds it “CONFORM(s) TO EUROPEAN MEDICAL DEVICE DIRECTIVE (MDD) 93/42/EEC DIRECTIVE 2004/108/EC INTERNATIONAL SAFETY STANDARD AS FOLLOWS: European CE and EMC international standard certificates.”
Other companies market similar devices including the “Ebola high fiver detector Infrared thermometers”, the “Ebola virus thermometer” made by the Zhengzhou Olive Electronic Technology Co.,Ltd., “a specialized manufacturer and exporter of medical equipments in China” citing as credentials that it is “a reputed, dynamic, service oriented company in the field of medical equipments” that “occup(ies) more than 20,000 square meters” of factory space.
The “Non-contact Handheld Scanner Infrared Thermometer ( Ebola Scanner )” is made by “Infrared Cameras Incorporated.”
On Sep 15, spokesman for Infrared Cameras Incorporated, David Strahan, said “This tester detects the first symptom of Ebola… without any physical contact with the person…That way, others know that you are safe to be around.”
Thousands of similar looking devices–proven later by numerous testing to be useless–were purchased for use at airports as explosive detection devices in Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Thailand, Mexico, and numerous other governments and military.
In most cases, it was shown that the manufacturers had paid bribes to government and military officials who took kickbacks in exchange for budgeting government funds to buy the devices. Hundreds of people were later shown to have been killed at military checkpoints and elsewhere as the bogus contraptions failed to detect explosives that passed through the scanning process.