Approximately 3.5 million young Nepalese are working abroad. Unskilled construction jobs including labourer, scaffolder, plumber and carpenter are the most common jobs. Every year there are more than 1000 deaths and many hundreds cases of injuries among Nepalese workers in these countries excluding India. For example, the Foreign Employment Promotion Board of Nepal recently reported that 1002 Nepalese migrant workers died in the 6 GCC countries and Malaysia in the last Nepalese calendar year, of which 357 (36%) were documented as cardiac related. However, in a quarter of deaths, the cause was unknown. Postmortem examination of migrant workers in many destination countries is not carried out and official records of the destination countries tend to record these deaths as being ‘from natural causes’. Information on underlying causes, such as heat stress on construction sites, is often not available.
The paper  which was recently published in SAGE’s Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health Journal, is jointly contributed by researchers based in New Zealand, Nepal, and FHSS’s Professor Edwin van Teijlingen and Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr Pramod Regmi, Dr Pratik Adhikary (BU’s ex PhD student) and FHSS’s visiting Professor Padam Simkhada. The authors argue that despite the contribution made by migrant workers to the economic prosperity of the host countries, they often face many major difficulties accessing effective health care and are perceived as a burden on the local health care system. Therefore, greater efforts are needed to protect the health and well-being of migrant workers from Nepal and other South-Asian nations.
BU staffs and students can freely access this paper by visiting this link.
- Aryal, N., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, Y. and Mann, S., 2016. Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1177/1010539516668628
Congratulations to the all authors for bringing up this important public health issue.