Prevalence of neglected tropical diseases (leishmaniasis and lymphatic filariasis) and malaria among a migrant labour settlement in Kerala, India.
Neglected tropical diseases (visceral leismaniasis, lymphatic filariasis) and malaria are endemic in northern states of India. Kerala has become a hub of construction activities employing a large number of migrants from these endemic states. Studies on morbidity pattern among migrants in Kerala are lacking. It is essential to look into the burden of these infections among migrant laborers who can act as reservoirs and are a threat to native population. A cross sectional study was done among migrant laborers in Ernakulam district, Kerala. After getting informed consent, a questionnaire was administered to each participant to collect sociodemographic details and 5 ml of blood was collected for detection of antigens using rapid diagnostic tests (RDT). Of the 309 migrants tested, none of them were positive for leishmaniasis, while 3.8% were positive for malaria and 3.6% for filariasis. With 2.5 million migrant laborers in Kerala, the magnitude of the problem in absolute numbers is enormous. Active surveillance and treatment is needed to prevent the reemergence of these diseases in Kerala.