Diabetes, skin trouble plague expat workers in UAE

June 7th, 2008 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, June 7 (IANS) Diabetes and skin problems are the main diseases afflicting expatriate workers in the UAE’s construction sector, it was found after a medical camp held here. “From what we have seen, diabetes and skin-related problems top the list of diseases that afflict construction sector workers here,” Davis Paliakkara, president of Indira Gandhi Veekshanam Forum (IGVF), an Indian charitable organisation, told IANS.

“There are a large number of eye ailments too,” Paliakkara said following the conclusion of a free medical camp for expatriate workers organised by IGVF here Friday.

He added that IGVF gave special attention to workers aged 30 and above.

The IGVF had distributed around 3,000 forms among workers in 40 labour accommodation camps for the event held in Dubai Investment Park at the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

“In all 600 workers registered with doctors till the conclusion of the camp Friday evening,” Paliakkara said.

This was the 16th free medical camp organised by the IGVF since its inception 28 years ago.

The camp was held in coordination with the Dr. Moopen’s Group and the Al Fara’a Construction and Industrial Group.

Lauding the efforts of the organisers, India’s Consul General in Dubai Venu Rajamony, while inaugurating the camp, said that such events should address problems of workers from all communities.

“We need coordinated efforts which should also reach out to workers from all communities apart from Indians,” Rajamony said.

There are around 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the UAE and a large number work as contract labour in the booming construction industry.

Chairman of Dr Moopen’s Group Azad Moopen, a well-known expatriate Indian here, said: “Such camps touch only the tip of the problem. We need a more permanent healthcare policy for workers here. Healthcare should be made available to all workers through low-cost insurance and this should be made mandatory for all employers.”

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