Tagged / migrant health

Risk of kidney problems in migrant workers

Congratulations to Dr. Pramod Regmi, Lecturer in International Health & Global Engagement Lead, Department of Nursing Sciences, and Dr. Nirmal Aryal, formerly of the Centre of Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), whose editorial “Kidney health risk of migrant workers: An issue we can no longer overlook” has been published today in Health Prospect [1].  Further co-authors (Arun Sedhain, Radheshyam Krishna KC, Erwin Martinez Faller, Aney Rijal, and Edwin van Teijlingen) work in India, Nepal, the Philippines and at BU.  The study was funded by GCRF.

This editorial highlights that low-skilled migrant workers in the countries of the Gulf and Malaysia are at a disproportionately higher risk of kidney health problems. The working conditions are often Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult (referred at as the 3Ds) include physically demanding work, exposure to a hot environment, dehydration, chemical exposures, excessive use of pain killers, and lifestyle factors (such as restricted water intake and a high intake of alcohol/sugary drinks) which may precipitate them to acute kidney injuries and subsequent chronic kidney disease.  

References

  1. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., Sedhain, A., KC, R.K., Martinez Faller, E., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E., (2021) Kidney health risk of migrant workers: An issue we can no longer overlook. Health Prospect 21(1): 15-17.

BU conference presentation on migration and COVID-19 in Nepal

Yesterday Dr. Pramod Regmi, Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, all based in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, presented at the tenth Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal & the Himalaya.  Their paper ‘Moral panic and othering practices during Nepal’s COVID-19 Pandemic (A study with returnee migrants and Muslims in Nepal)’ was co-authored by Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti from the University of Huddersfield and Shreeman Sharma (Department of  Conflict, Peace & Development
Studies, Tribhuvan University, Nepal).  The presentation was partly based on research funded by the British Academy.

 

New joint publication with  Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

 

This morning International Journal of Mental Health Nursing informed us that our article  ‘Cultural issues on accessing mental health services in Nepali and Iranian migrants communities in the UK‘ has been published today.   This paper is written by an interdisciplinary team including Hannah Blunt who works at Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, Dr. Bibha Simkhada who is Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Huddersfield and Dr. Mariam Vahdaninia who works in the Peninsula Medical School at the University of Plymouth.  Both Mariam and Bibha worked with me at Bournemouth University at the time of the study.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

Nepal’s migrant workers & risk at the workplace

For nearly a decade BU researchers have published widely about the hazards and risk of Nepali migrant workers in Asia and the Middle East [1-9].  Despite the fact that most migrant workers end up in semi-skilled and unskilled jobs in their host countries, only a minority report poor working environments.  For example, in Pratik Adhikary’s PhD study in FHSS only just over a fifth of migrant workers reported that their work environment in the Middle East or Malaysia was poor or very poor [4].  This relatively high level of satisfaction appears to seems contradict reports in local media on the risks associated with Nepali migrants working abroad, especially focusing on the football world cup in Qatar [7], official reports that many hundreds of bodies of dead Nepali migrants return home every year [10], and the fact that many of these Nepali migrant workers end up doing the jobs the local populations finds too dirty, dangerous and demeaning (colloquially referred to as 3D-jobs).  Why do so many who travel abroad take to do risky, dirty and otherwise undesirable jobs, but still assess their working environment as not too bad?

More theoretical papers on the drivers of migration have referred to many interconnected factors and links [11-12].  Local drivers in Nepal include poverty, lack of employment opportunities, having a history of work-related migration, a growing culture of migration (i.e. it becomes more or less an expectation) and many more.  One local element that is perhaps too easily ignored is that many Nepali migrant workers would have ended up in dirty, dangerous and demeaning jobs at home too.  And the risk, on for example building sites in Nepal might be even greater than that in Qatar or elsewhere in the Middle East as some of the photos below illustrate.  These photos of an accident involving an external building lift were taken today on a building site in Kathmandu.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-75. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  2. Adhikary, P, Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi Arabia, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  3. Simkhada, P.P., Regmi, P.R.van Teijlingen, E., Aryal, N. (2017) Identifying the gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health and well-being: A review of the literature. Journal of Travel Medicine, 24 (4). https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i3.25805
  4. Adhikary P, Sheppard, Z., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, International Journal of Migration, Health & Social Care 14(1): 96-105 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2015-0052
  5. Regmi, P.van Teijlingen, E.Mahato, P.Aryal, N., Jadhav, N., Simkhada, P., Zahiruddin, Q.S., Gaidhane, A. (2019) The Health of Nepali Migrants in India: A Qualitative Study of Lifestyles and Risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (19). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193655
  6. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., Faller, E.M., van Teijlingen, E., Khoon, C.C., Pereira, A., Simkhada, P. (2019) Sudden cardiac death and kidney health related problems among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 9 (3), 788-791. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i3.25805
  7. Adhikary P, van Teijlingen E., Keen S. (2019) Workplace accidents among Nepali male workers in the Middle East and Malaysia: A qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 21(5): 1115–1122. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10903-018-0801-y
  8. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Mahato, P., Aryal, N., Jadhav, N., Simkhada, P., Syed Zahiruddin, Q., Gaidhane, A., (2019) The health of Nepali migrants in India: A qualitative study of lifestyles and risks, Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 16(19), 3655; doi:10.3390/ijerph16193655.
  9. Regmi, P., Aryal, N., van Teijlingen, E., Adhikary, P. (2019) Nepali migrant workers and the need for pre-departure training on mental health: a qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10903-019-00960-z.pdf
  10. Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of Nepal. (2018) Labour migration for employment: a status report for Nepal: 2015/2016 – 2016/2017. In. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  11. Van Hear, N., Bakewell, O., Long. K. (2018) Push-pull plus: reconsidering the drivers of migration, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 44:6, 927-944, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384135
  12. Iqbal, M., Gusman, Y. (2015) Pull and Push Factors of Indonesian women migrant workers from Indramayu (West Java) to work abroad. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(5): 167   https://www.mcser.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/7893

What makes a Bournemouth University publication?

Last week the IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Nepal, the UN Migration Agency published a new report online: Research on the Health Vulnerabilities of the Cross-Border Migrants from Nepal.  This report mentioned the input and advice of Bournemouth University (BU) staff, including Dr. Nirmal Aryal, who worked on the report prior to his appointment at BU and who is listed as Co-Investigator, furthermore listed as Resource Persons are: Dr. Pramod Regmi and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.  Working with the charity Green Tara Nepal (GTN) on this study has been good for IOM and BU.  All of use have worked on the report in different kind of ways and to different degrees.  The publication suggested a corporate authorship as ‘International Organization for Migration’, which is great for the status of the report as it is a UN agency.  We feel part of this as BU academics and feel we are part of the team despite this not being a BU publication!

 

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

International Organization for Migration (2019) Research on the Health Vulnerabilities of the Cross-Border Migrants from Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal: International Organization for Migration.  Available at : https://nepal.iom.int/sites/default/files/publication/Research_on_The_Health_Vulnerabilities_of_The_Cross_Border_Migrants_from_Nepal_0.pdf

Migration & health research in Middle East & Malaysia

Yesterday the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health published the final version of Dr. Pratik Adhikary’s paper ‘Workplace Accidents Among Nepali Male Workers in the Middle East and Malaysia: A Qualitative Study’ [1].  This is the fourth paper originating from Pratik’s Ph.D. research conducted in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, the first three papers appeared in the period 2011-2018 [2-4].

The paper highlights that many Nepali men work in the Middle East and Malaysia and media reports and anecdotal evidence suggests they are at a high risk of workplace-related accidents and injuries for male Nepali workers.   Pratik’s Ph.D. study used face-to-face interviews to explore the personal experiences of twenty male Nepali migrants of unintentional injuries at their place of work.  His study found that almost half of study participants experienced work-related accident abroad. The Participants suggested that the reasons behind this are not only health and safety at work but also poor communication, taking risks by workers themselves, and perceived work pressure. Some participants experienced serious incidents causing life-long disability, extreme and harrowing accounts of injury but received no support from their employer or host countries.

The paper concludes that Nepali migrant workers are at a high risk of occupational injuries owing to a number of interrelated factors poor health and safety at work, pressure of work, risk taking practices, language barriers, and their general work environment. Both the Government of Nepal and host countries need to be better policing   existing policies; introduce better legislation where necessary; ensure universal health (insurance) coverage for labour migrants; and improve preventive measures to minimize the number and severity of accidents and injuries among migrant workers.

 

References:

  1. Adhikary P, van Teijlingen E., Keen S. (2019) Workplace accidents among Nepali male workers in the Middle East and Malaysia: A qualitative study, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 21(5): 1115–1122. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10903-018-0801-y
  2. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen E (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-75. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  3. Adhikary, P, Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi Arabia, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10.
  4. Adhikary P, Sheppard, Z., Keen S., van Teijlingen E. (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, International Journal of Migration, Health & Social Care 14(1): 96-105.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2015-0052