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RANONG: The Public Health Ministry has ordered that three contagious diseases be closely monitored along the border region in Ranong province as the establishment of the Asean Community will encourage movement of more people.

Dr Sopon Mekthon, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, said the ministry has asked hospitals and clinics in the Thai-Myanmar border area at Ranong to put preventative measures in place to stop the spread of tuberculosis, cholera and malaria from Myanmar, which may occur more frequently in the future.

Many patients with these three infectious diseases are identified every year by having foreign workers as carriers, so it is possible that the infection rate may rise soon as more people will be able to travel freely across the border, Dr Sopon said.

He also noted that the ministry has increased the budget to expand hospitals in border areas to prepare for more patients in the future.

— The Nation