Dr Mohammed Ali al-Hajaj: head of Occupational Health Services at SCH and Dr Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani: director, Public Health, SCH.
Three hospitals that are being built, exclusively for single workers, in the Doha Industrial Area, Mesaieed Industrial City and Ras Laffan will have large clinics to provide occupational health services, a top official of Supreme Council of Health (SCH) told Gulf Times.
"These clinics will provide all occupational health services for all the workers, thereby minimising the risks associated with their works," explained Dr Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad al- Thani, director, Public Health, SCH, on the sidelines of a training programme on basic occupational and environmental health services.
“The occupational health hazards are common to both white collar and blue collar workers. Proper care and services can lower the deaths due to occupational hazards as well as accidents that might keep the employees away from work for long time."
Pointing out that occupational health hazards are common to all professions, the official observed that doctors can be affected through the use of syringes and contract some contagious diseases whereas engineers might face accidents on the work sites. The training SCH is offering will help in facing such hazards.
“The SCH is looking to build occupational health capacity by training the primary care physicians or more accurately, physicians of first contact for expanding and improving occupational health services to protect, promote and maintain health of the large population of expatriate male labourers, primarily in the construction industry, who have limited access to healthcare services and may operate in hazardous environments,” Dr Sheikh Mohamed al-Thani added.
Dr Mohamed Ali al-Hajaj, head of Occupational Health Services at SCH said that the training is done in five modules in cooperation with the East Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO. “This is the second module and the first one was completed last year. The third and fourth one will be competed in March and May and the last one will be towards the end of the year. We have representatives from Primary Health Centres, Red Crescent and private hospitals.”
The SCH official also said that the training will be an ongoing process. “ In the present module, 30 general practitioners are participating. The trained doctors, in turn, will train the other doctors. This will be an annual event hereafter.”
It is estimated that about 2.6bn people belong to the global workforce and according to ILO, over 2mn die each year from occupationally related diseases and injuries. Another 160mn suffer from nonfatal diseases and 270mn from nonfatal injuries that occur annually. This leads to a loss of about 4% of the global gross domestic product.