Entry of Migrant Workers to Malaysia: Consideration to Implement Mass Drug Administration Against Intestinal Parasitic Infections

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK

5 School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK

6 Institute of Asia-Europe, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Over the last five decades, widespread industrialisation and urbanisation have resulted in the influx of low-skilled workers, particularly from Southeast and West Asia to Malaysia. The current practice for migrant workers entry for employment requires mandatory medical screening for infectious diseases. However, screening for parasitic infections in Malaysia is woefully inadequate. Many migrants come from low-income countries where parasitic infections are common, which may have public health implications for their overall well-being as parasitic infections, although not critical, may impact their overall productivity. The high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) recorded among migrant workers in Malaysia necessitates improvement in the national health policy to include mandatory mass administration of a single dose of anthelmintic drugs to all low-skilled migrant labourers, particularly upon entry into the country, admission, and encourage continuous surveillance. A constant stream of migrant labourers is anticipated, potentially resulting in an ongoing occurrence of parasitic infections within the population. The implementation of economic measures like health awareness initiatives, routine deworming campaigns, and improved sanitation facilities holds the potential to reduce the spread of these infections notably. More often than not, taking preventive actions proves to be more financially efficient over time compared to addressing severe infections at a later stage.


Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 27 March 2024
  • Receive Date: 25 November 2022
  • Revise Date: 25 August 2023
  • Accept Date: 25 March 2024
  • First Publish Date: 27 March 2024