Sirisena gets Migration Health Policy draft

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The draft copy of the new National Migration Health Policy (NMHP) was handed to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday morning.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry said the policy was aimed at preventing diseases being transmitted within and outside the country. "We have a large number of young men and women migrating in search of employment within the country as well as those travelling abroad for employment. The number of tourists too has increased this year. More than 700,000 tourists have visited Sri Lanka within the last 10 months."

The vulnerability of people to diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) owing to migrant employees would pose a threat to the country if a mechanism was not put in place to prevent such diseases from entering the country through young men and women who go abroad for employment, the spokesman said.

The NMHP has a long way to go before it becomes law. The spokesman said that the draft policy bill had to be submitted to the Cabinet and then to the Parliament for approval.

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