Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 4, 2007

Foreigners who pose a health threat

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:01 am

NST: TAIPING: Nearly 50,000 foreign workers are walking the streets with either tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria or a host of diseases wiped out decades ago in the country.
This came to light after 3.4 per cent of the 1.3 million foreigners who arrived last year failed medical checks conducted by Fomema Sdn Bhd.
They had been given clean bills of health in their respective countries.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said their numbers were alarming and a cause for concern.
According to Fomema, the figures on unfit workers had increased from 2.2 per cent in 2002 to 3.3 per cent in 2005.
“When we translate this into real numbers, alarm bells start to ring,” he said after launching a blood donation campaign here.
He was concerned that unfit workers had diseases that had been eradicated or substancially reduced over the years.
Chua said it was the responsibility of employers to ensure that foreign workers were free of diseases when they entered the country.
He noted that some employers did not send their workers for check-ups to avoid high overheads.
“If workers have infectious diseases, the employers should send them back.”

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