Thursday , May 26 2022

Moving to prevent immigrants with TB from going to Sabah – Nation


KOTA KINABALU: The state government is considering establishing screening centers in all immigration access points and places to prevent immigrants with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) from going to Sabah.

"We will discuss with the authorities and relevant departments about this issue.

"We need to see how we can do this in terms of workforce, site and allocations," said state health and welfare minister Datuk Stephen Wong.

The topic came during the state assembly sitting yesterday when Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Karanaan assembly, suggested that such screening points were set up to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from immigrants to local people.

Noting statistics between 2013 and 2016, Wong said that around 30% of TB patients were illegal immigrants.

Kinabatangan records the highest number of TB cases among immigrants at 68%, with Kunak (53%), Lahad Datu (50%), and Semporna (47%), he said.

In order to prevent the spread of TB and other infectious diseases, the state department requires immigrants and foreign workers to have health screening before they can be legally employed.

In September, 107,584 foreign workers had been screened for various diseases, including TB, said Wong.

Wong said that the relationships of older workers with health complications such as diabetes, HIV, kidney and elderly failure have to go to health screens as they are at great risk of TB.

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