Health Ministry to treat all migrants for infectious diseases

KOTA KINABALU: The Health Ministry will provide treatment to all migrants, especially when it comes to infectious diseases.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, said with Sabah's porous borders posed a great challenge to the state in handling the situation.

"However, what is important is we (the Health Ministry) are the custodian of public health, regardless of people's documentation status.

"This is a whole-government approach. We practise a 'no wrong door' (policy). Whoever comes, we will treat them.

"If migrants are not treated, they will become reservoirs, potentially becoming carriers (for Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria). This is a (disease) control issue," he said after the National Level World Malaria, Tuberculosis and Leprosy Celebration Day at Universiti Malaysia Sabah here.

Earlier, Dr Dzulkefly said tuberculosis was an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and spreads through the air.

"Tuberculosis remains one of the major disease burdens in Malaysia. Symptoms of tuberculosis include persistent cough for more than two weeks, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss and coughing up blood.

"Individuals showing signs and symptoms of tuberculosis should promptly seek medical attention at health clinics for diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

"Tuberculosis can be treated by adhering to a prescribed schedule, which involves taking anti-tuberculosis medication every day for at least six months.

"Misconceptions about tuberculosis being caused by human-made factors, such as witchcraft, need to be corrected because untreated tuberculosis can lead to death."

Up to May 4, Malaysia has reported 8,856 cases of tuberculosis nationwide, with 1,944 of them in Sabah. The country has also seen 803 malaria cases, with 409 in Sabah. Leprosy cases stand at 66 nationwide, with 24 in Sabah.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories