: The influx of illegal immigrants into the country is among causes behind the spread of tuberculosis (TB), says Health Deputy Minister
, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
He said as the illegal immigrants had not gone through any health screening, those afflicted with TB would infect local residents with the bacteria.
"We (the ministry) do try to stem the spread of the disease but
the TB incidences are still high because illegal immigrants slip into the country with no medical screening," he said at the opening of the 'National TB And Lung Diseases Conference 2016' Saturday.
He said foreign workers who came in legally were required to undergo health screening in their country of origin before undergoing another medical screening in Malaysia.
As such, he urged all parties, including employers to
cooperate in tackling the spread of TB by not hiring illegal immigrants whose health status was suspect.
Dr Hilmi said a total of 24,220 TB cases were reported last year, involving 1,696 fatalities.