This paper introduces disease screening for tuberculosis among labor migrants reporting that conducting pre-departure health assessments is associated with earlier detection of tuberculosis, resulting in a shorter period of infectiousness and hospitalization and significant savings in health budget.
- Purpose: Influx of labor migrants into Russia makes it necessary to put TB prevention measures in place, both inside and outside of Russian borders. While inside Russia TB response is premised on testing migrants applying for work or residence permits for diseases of public significance, millions of migrants – specifically, those working without completing necessary paperwork – evade this requirement. In light of that, the purpose of this paper is to propose introducing disease screening in migrant-sending countries, i.e. testing of potential migrants for infectious diseases in local medical institutions certified by Russian authorities.
- Methodology: To support the proposal, the authors provide review of official data on TB prevalence among migrants in Russia as well as publications on international experience with conducting disease screening in migrant-sending countries.
- Findings: Available studies demonstrate that conducting disease screening programs in migrant-sending countries is associated with earlier detection of TB cases, shorter period of infectiousness and hospitalization, and significant savings in health budget.
- Originality: Taking into account this experience, the authors propose introducing disease screening programs in CIS both under current legal arrangements and with the requirement for labor migrants to produce medical certificate when entering Russia being introduced. The need for transborder cooperation in assuring positive health outcomes among labor migrants is also highlighted.