Thiruvananthapuram: Amid accusations by the opposition of failing to contain outbreak of cases of fever, Kerala government on Wednesday informed the state Assembly that migrant workers from across the country were bringing in various new diseases to the state.
"It has been found that many of the new disease were being carried to the state by migrant workers. As part of 'Safe Kerala' campaign, nearly 25 lakh work force from other states, staying in different labour camps, would be screened," state Health Minister V S Sivakumar said.
An inspection at the labour camps had found most of the workers suffering from different disorders, including skin problems, tuberculosis, HIN1 and malaria, he said replying to an opposition notice for an adjournment motion on the issue.
CPI(M) led LDF opposition walked out of the assembly, accusing the state Health department of not checking the outbreak of different types of fever during the monsoon.
Sivakumar denied the allegations and informed the House that over 11.55 lakh people had been affected by different types of fever, including H1N1, Malaria and Kala Azar (black fever) till July 5, this year.
Fever was found more among people in urban areas, he said.
Pointing that the government had taken various precautionary measures to check spread of fever, Sivakumar said last year those affected by fever till July was 13.45 lakhs, whereas this year it had come down.
Seeking a debate on the issue, C Raveendranath (CPI-M), said government's wrong health policy was responsible for the present situation.
Criticising the government's recent decision to set up more medical colleges, he said, "quality of health service is more important rather than quantity".
Disputing the government's claim that the fever cases had reduced this year, he said as per the statistics of health monitors, there was a growth by 2-3 per cent of fever related diseases in the state.
There was shortage of necessary medicines, doctors and other para-medical staff in government hospitals, he said.
After the minister's reply, Speaker N Sakthan disallowed debate on the issue and Opposition members led by their leader V S Achuthanandan, trooped out of the house.