Assessment of the burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases and their mitigation among the Migrant Labour population of Ernakulam District Kerala India
In recent times there is a high influx of migrant labourers from North Eastern states of India to Kerala. , It is estimated that there are over a million of migrants to Kerala and the majority of which are in Ernakulam District as it being the hub of construction activities in the state. In the earlier years, migrants to Kerala were mostly from the neighboring states of Tamilnadu and to a lesser extent from Karnataka. From the year 2000 onwards there has been an exponential rise in migrants from the North eastern states of India such as Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Assam which are plagued with many Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Dengue and chikungunya
The work environs and living conditions of these migrant workers are highly conducive for Dengue and chikungunya outbreaks. Aedes vectors bite during the day - time providing chances for active disease transmission while they are at work. Further the construction sites provide ample breeding sources for the proliferation of Aedes vectors for enhanced man-vector contact.
There could be asymptomatic visceral Leishmaniasis infection among the persons coming from endemic States like Bihar and West Bengal. They need to be detected and given adequate treatment to contain its further spread locally. Intestinal worm load among the migrant children needs to be evaluated to launch appropriate control measures.
WE can do it together
We are exploring collaborators/partners to tackle this situation which is a true representative of a unique floating population elsewhere
Ernakulam District was highly endemic for Lymphatic Filariasis for both Brugian and Bancroftian infections. Due to the environmental changes taken place coupled with control measures Brugian infection has almost disappeared. This district is also covered under MDA program under the Global Elimination Program of LF. Ernakulam is set to become a Filariasis-free district soon, with the first phase of a study by the state health department finding not a single person positive for the disease. However transmission assessment surveys are needed to re-confirm this picture. Further the LF scenario among the migrants numbering in thousands is still elusive and continue to remain hot spots for this infection in the presence of high density of vectors. While due emphasis is given by all concern to control LF transmission, the Morbidity management of the diseased victims remain far below satisfactory which again leads to be boosted up.