The initiative to carry out medical screening of expatriate workers in their home countries has been successful, according to Health Ministry officials.
Assistant Undersecretary of the ministry Dr Mahmoud Fikri said at a recent meeting that the UAE’s experiment to screen foreign workers before they fly in to the country has proved to be successful since 50 per cent of the likely recruits have been found to have certain diseases.
The decision of the ministry to screen expatriate workers for contagious diseases in their home countries before they are granted work visas came into force on October 1, 2011.
People from Indonesia and Sri Lanka were the first to undergo the screening, to be introduced in phases in certain other countries.
The initial evaluation of the experiment during the last six months proved that the results are excellent, Dr Fikri told the meeting held to discuss the mechanism of the application and means of coordination with stakeholders both at home and abroad.
“The results of the tests revealed that about 50 per cent of the total number of persons screened in their home countries had tested positive for infectious diseases, particularly Tuberculosis,” noted Dr Fikri.
This move helps avoid the situation of the workers coming into the UAE and later returning to their home countries once they are proved unfit for work. He said he was preparing a mechanism to achieve electronic connectivity between all stakeholders such as offices and testing centres in the countries of origin and the Executive Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Ministry of Health in the UAE.