Afghan Refugees Seen as Health Risk

Afghan Refugees Seen as Health RiskAfghan Refugees Seen as Health Risk

Annually, more than 10,000 Afghans enter Iran and put the country at the risk of infectious diseases, including cholera.

Cholera is still a major epidemic disease in Afghanistan which can be transmitted by refugees entering the country, said Mohammad Mahdi Guya, head of the Management Center of Infectious Diseases at the Health Ministry.

At a joint meeting with officials of the Iranian Police Force (NAJA), he pointed to the important role of the police in prevention of communicable diseases, reports IRNA.

“The police have always assisted us in containing various diseases; however, for better coordination and more effective intervention a MoU between the police and the Health Ministry is necessary.”

Guya also pointed to the harmful communicable diseases which enter the country through the eastern borders. Annually thousands of Afghans enter the country and the police should prevent illegal border crossings.

“At present, the focus is on eliminating avian flu, and NAJA should have control over veterinary permits.”

At times, tourists who travel abroad also bring in viral infections into the country. Additionally, the movement of animals between different provinces can lead to spread of diseases, Guya added.  

Screening at airports, training of border police and healthcare services in prisons were issues discussed at the meeting held at the office of the deputy health minister, Dr. Ali Akbar Sayyari.