KOZHIKODE: The lack of a health screening mechanism and providing health cards to the nearly 50,000-strong migrant labour community which flow in from North Indian areas prone to various epidemics, is a major threat to health resulting in the spread of various communicable diseases in the city and suburbs, believe health activists.
It is to be recalled that the origin of various communicable diseases including malaria and cholera were traced to migrant settlements. The origin of Cholera reported this year also was traced to migrant settlements at Mavoor panchayat. In 2016, a total of 38 malaria cases were detected of which more than 20 cases were detected among migrant labourers, say health officials. District medical officer Jayasree V told DC, “We have just started the process”, she said, adding that so far 165 cards were issued.
Though the health department deputed OISCA, an internationally acclaimed NGO to issue health cards, the project is still struggling due to the lack of coordination between various departments including labour, police and health. “It is time we focus on the growing migrant labour community as a majority are natives of states with a history of epidemic outbreaks”, said PK Nalinakshan, Migrant labour project director of OISCA. “Our project helped the health department detect many diseases and help them in seeking medication in time”, he added.