More than 1,600 male and female low-income workers from several countries yesterday attended the free medical camp organised by the Ministry of Public Health, in co-operation with Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Focus Qatar and Well Care Group at the Medical Commission.
The day-long event was held in connection with the ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work.’ Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health at MoPH; Dr Mohamed Hajjaj, head of Occupational Health, MoPH; diplomats from a number of embassies and several officials from the ministry visited the camp.
While screening was done for several occupational diseases, a significant number of people were tested positive for hypertension followed by diabetes and joint pain.
For the first time at the annual event, ladies were given free medical check-up. Over 100 ladies attended the programme in a separate session, arranged in the morning. There were two sessions at the camp. The morning session from 8-11am was meant for women while men attended the activities from 1pm to 6pm. A number of doctors and paramedical staff were on hand for helping the workers with screening for different lifestyle diseases and offering expert advice. There were also awareness programmes held along with the camp.
One of the doctors, who screened a large number of workers in the afternoon, said that hypertension was a major health issue among the workers, followed by diabetes. He also commented that many of these workers were unaware of these diseases and the consequences, as they are not in the habit of undergoing regular medical check-up.
“About 15 to 20% of the workers, I examined, were found to be suffering either from diabetes or hypertension. Some of them were screened for diabetes and hypertension for the first time and were surprised at the results. They would not even know about such situations if they had not attended the camp,” said a physician at the camp.
“Other than lifestyle diseases, many workers reported that they were suffering from fungal diseases. Many others said to be suffering from joint pains,” added the physician.
Another physician said several workers suffer from high blood sugar due to several reasons. “Workplace stress, wrong food habits and family concerns are some of them. Certain food habits, followed by many of the workers, result in high blood pressure which they are unaware of. The right thing is to educate them on these issues periodically.”
In addition to the screening for diabetes and hypertension, the workers were also provided free medicines. In case of urgent medical attention, they were referred to Hamad Medical Corporation. There was a physiotherapy unit where many of the workers received treatment. There were also awareness lectures by experts on various topics.
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