Challenges and Opportunities to Improve Tuberculosis Screening among Immigrant Plantation Workers in Sabah, Malaysia

Maini Sabait, Wan Mohd Zahiruddin Wan Mohammad, Mohamed Rusli Abdullah, Julia Omar

Abstract


Tuberculosis (TB) among immigrants has substantial contribution to the TB epidemiology in Sabah. This study aimed to determine the yield of screening for TB disease among immigrant plantation workers in Sabah, Malaysia. This was a prospective cohort study involving 482 legal immigrant workers aged 18 years and above, consented and available at study sites during the study period. Workers with previous history of TB or currently on TB treatment were excluded from participation. Symptom based questionnaire was administered along with both chest radiograph and sputum samples collection for symptomatics participants. Out of 482 plantation workers creened, there was no case of active TB detected among the 44 (9.1%) symptomatics participants. Finding of low TB yield in this study was rather unexpected but this indicates the real challenges for the local health authority to come out with more cost effective screening programs, including reducing stigma, in active TB screening among migrant population.

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijphs.v5i1.4761

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International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

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