Diabetes, skin diseases common ailments among Dubai workers

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on April 7, 2018
Diabetes, skin diseases common ailments among Dubai workers
The event was organised by Aster Volunteers, a CSR initiative launched by Aster DM Healthcare.

(Supplied photo)

'Mega Medical and Wellness Camp' organised in Jebel Ali for 1,420 low-income workers on Friday.

Diseases such as diabetes, fungal infection, hypertension, poor vision and other orthopaedic disorders continue to be the most common ailments among blue-collared workers in Dubai.

Medical experts, volunteers and workers at the Aster Volunteers mega medical camp, organised ahead of the World Health Day, revealed lack of awareness as the main reason for such diseases among blue-collared workers. 

The 'Mega Medical and Wellness Camp' was organised at the Dubai Investment Real Estate labour accommodation in Jebel Ali for 1,420 low-income workers on Friday.

Over 20 doctors screened workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal along with 25 paramedics from Aster Hospital Mankhool, Aster and Access Clinics, Aster Pharmacy and Medcare Hospitals.

The event was organised by Aster Volunteers, a CSR initiative launched by Aster DM Healthcare in 2017, and Model Service Society (MSS), another volunteering organisation approved by the Community Development Authority (CDA). 

Dermatologist Dr Rajesh Kumar said: "Fungal infections and allergies are very common among blue-collared workers. The allergies are caused by occupation-related ailments, such as exposure to dust and chemicals. Workers must be encouraged to take care of their health."

Eisa Alzarooni, director of Inspection department, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and Vipul, consul-general of India to Dubai, officials from Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) and other diplomatic officials also attended the camp. 

Speaking about the medical camp, Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: "Unlike regular health camps, the mega camp also hosted a variety of super speciality doctors, including ophthalmology, dermatology, pulmonology and gastroenterology."

He added: "The purpose of this event is also to identify and meet the health and wellness requirements of low-income workers who are often not able to access basic healthcare facilities while struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families back home," he said. "We are looking to organise another one of these camps in another six months."

Aster Volunteers currently has 6,500 volunteers, including Aster staff, but Dr Moopen hopes that it will eventually grow to host 100,000 volunteers.

Furthermore, Vipul said that the Indian Consulate in Dubai is happy to be associating itself with such events. "Especially since workers now have mandatory insurance, it is more or less a matter of raising awareness," he said. 

Alzarooni added: "A medical camp of this scale is in line with the values of the father of our nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and aids to the happiness of people living in the UAE."

Rasheed Abdu added that an overwhelmingly high number of people are victim to unawareness and hypertension etc. 

Dr Zeba Moopen, director of special projects at Aster DM Healthcare, has been leading the development of this initiative and will continue to drive it forward to make a positive difference in the lives of more and more people. "We sincerely appreciate the support and cooperation from the Indian Consulate and our partners in bringing today's camp to life."

To add to the happiness quotient, the workers at the camp could register for a lucky draw to win exciting and useful prizes. Also, the volunteers lit up the occasion with live musical performances for everyone present at the event. 

'No time to visit doctors, medical camp a relief'

?Several labourers who attended the camp said that they hardly find any time to visit a doctor. Pakistan national Azhar Abbas, a carpenter, said: "I wake up coughing heavily every morning and off late my eyesight is very poor. I think the camp is a great idea and workers should visit a doctor at least once in six months." Another worker Chinnaiah Gola, a foreman said: "These kinds of events are perfect for raising awareness."



Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.

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