Filariasis Screening Included in Mandatory Health Assessments for Migrant Workers

Health Minister Dr Abdulla Khaleel announced that screening for Filariasis will now be incorporated into the mandatory medical tests conducted for migrant workers applying for work permits upon entry to the Maldives.

The detection of the mosquito-borne disease, Filariasis, in Kulhudhuffushi City on December 14th triggered heightened health measures. Since then, the Maldives has reported 32 confirmed cases of Filariasis, with 25 cases in Kulhudhuffushi City and seven in the greater Male’ area. Notably, these cases have been limited to the migrant population within the country.

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Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the ‘Mukabba’ campaign yesterday, which aimed to raise awareness of food safety, Minister Khaleel highlighted key decisions made by the cabinet in response to the Filariasis cases. These decisions include introducing yearly medical tests for migrant workers, encompassing screening for Filariasis.

Minister Khaleel emphasised the importance of addressing Filariasis promptly, considering it is a disease that had previously been eliminated or eradicated from the Maldives. 

Minister Khaleel revealed ongoing efforts by the Ministry to identify additional diseases for inclusion in the medical tests for migrant workers. He clarified that Filariasis, although re-emerging in the Maldives, is being actively controlled through a special mechanism. The country is also equipped with necessary medication and test kits for the disease.

To strengthen the response, discussions are underway with emergency funds to secure additional medication and kits. Minister Khaleel concluded by assuring the public of the establishment of a robust health system in the future.

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