AMMONNEWS - A total of 400 guest workers were referred from the Health Ministry to the Interior Ministry for deportation over the first 11 months of 2016 for health related issues, an official said Tuesday.
Ibrahim Badwan, the director of the Health Ministry’s pulmonary diseases and guest workers directorate, said 185 cases of hepatitis B, 149 cases of tuberculosis and 66 cases of HIV/AIDS were detected among guest workers who underwent medical examination from January until the end of November last year.
During the first 10 months of 2016, 356,045 guest workers visited the directorate for medical check-ups. A total of 457 of them were diagnosed with hepatitis B, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, according to official figures released by the directorate.
Commenting on the numbers, Badwan said all guest workers with HIV/AIDS are deported, but those with hepatitis and tuberculosis can be treated in Jordan, especially Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni workers who are residing in the country.
Meanwhile, he noted that around 30 per cent of the world’s population has inactive tuberculosis, adding that the disease is reactivated among 10 per cent of humans who may have previously been declared tuberculosis-free.
Guest workers with pulmonary tuberculosis are deported, but those with extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, which does not affect the pulmonary system, are not deported, Badwan said.
That explains why some guest workers are not diagnosed with the disease in the first medical check-up they undergo upon their arrival to the Kingdom, he noted.
While guest workers undergo a medical check-up when they first come to the country, they have to redo the medical tests every year and every time they re-enter the Kingdom.
Badwan added that Health Minister Mahmoud Sheyyab has recently formed a committee from the public and private sectors to review medical tests for guest workers.
The committee, he noted, has added tests for hepatitis C and leprosy for workers coming from countries where such diseases have been recorded.
In addition, guest workers are to undergo a general test that checks for diabetes and heart performance.
In a bid to expand services and reduce work pressure on the directorate’s centre in Gardens area in Amman, the ministry has recently opened new centres in the capital’s Sweileh, Jabal Luweibdeh and Jabal Al Nasser neighbourhoods.