KOCHI: The second phase of Atithi Devo Bhava, a health assessment drive among migrant labourers in Ernakulam district, initiated by the National Health Mission has begun. The camps are being held under ‘Unite for Healthy Ernakulam’ - an initiative of the District Collector.
According to data available with the NHM district programme office, the health status of as many as 2,365 labourers in 42 camps were assessed in the first phase carried out from January to March. Two cases of typhoid, three hepatitis B and one case of hepatitis C were reported.
Those diagnosed with diseases have been referred to the Ernakulam General Hospital for further treatment. The drive is being carried out in the regions where migrant labourers are found in large numbers. Diseases such as malaria, typhoid, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, diabetes and hypertension will be diagnosed during the survey.
The drive is also supported by the Community Medicine Department of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The medical team is visiting each camp to distribute the necessary medicines.
The District Collector has included Atithi Devo Bhava as one of the five components of the Unite for Healthy Ernakulam programme.“Migrant labourers do not have the habit of going to hospitals when they are sick,” said an NHM spokesperson.
“Instead, they rely on over the counter medicines. Though living in disease-prone conditions, they are least bothered of their own health or public health simply because they are unaware of it. ‘Free Ernakulam’ is one of the five components of ‘Unite for Healthy Ernakulam’. Under the programme, the labourers will undergo TB screening also.’’
NHM representative also said they were on a mission to instil the necessity of being healthy among the migrant labourers.“We are planning to convey the message through advocates and NGOs working for their welfare. These labourers will not attend a health awareness programme. But will definitely attend a meeting convened by advocates working among them as it is related to their labour and wage conditions,’’ he said.