Via The National, a report datelined Abu Dhabi: Tuberculosis screening sees big drop in numbers. Excerpt:
The number of Sri Lankan and Indonesian visa applicants with infectious diseases has dropped significantly since home screening programmes began in the two countries last year.
Figures from the Abu Dhabi Health Authority compared the prevalence of infectious diseases among visa applicants in the first quarter of 2011, before the home screening programme was introduced, to the first quarter of 2012, after its launch.
The most notable decreases were for tuberculosis (TB) and syphilis. Cases of TB among Sri Lankan visa applicants were down from 9.2 per 1,000 in 2011 to just below 1 per 1,000 in 2012. Among Indonesian visa applicants, the same disease showed a decrease from 7.3 per thousand in 2011 to 4.2 per thousand in 2012.
Syphilis cases among Sri Lankan applicants dropped from 5.7 per thousand to 4.6 per thousand, while the number of cases from Indonesia dropped by nearly half - from 4.3 cases per 1,000 in 2011 to 2.4 per 1,000 in 2012.
The home screening programme was introduced last October by the Ministry of Health to prevent workers deemed medically unfit from entering the country.
It requires workers to be screened at an approved health centre in their home country for a list of infectious diseases and medical conditions. Those who test positive are declared medically unfit and their visa application is rejected.