Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Screen all maids for Herpes?

Letter recently published in the Star's Letter to the Editor:

Recently I employed a maid and was shocked that Fomema, the health screening agency for domestic Indonesian maids, does not screen for herpes.
Since it is a highly contagious disease, which can be transmitted through saliva and vaginal fluids, all maids should be screened and deemed unfit for employment if they are found to have the virus.
Doctors and professionals have confirmed that there is no antidote for this virus, and once infected, the person becomes a lifetime carrier.
Perhaps the Health Ministry can play an active role to include this as part of Fomema’s standard health screening for foreign workers to ensure that they don’t spread the disease.

Maybe it's just me; maybe I'm reading too much into this. But the truth is genital herpes (presumably that's what he's referring to) is an STD; not something you pick up in casual contact. Yes, as a physician I'd certainly advocate steps to prevent STD transmission, but doesn't this kinda take it overboard? Makes you wonder what job 'Swan' is hiring an Indonesian maid for?