To help raise awareness of infectious diseases and other health issues among Qatar’s expat population, Qatar Red Crescent has announced plans to broaden its reach to include 5,000 more workers over the next two years.
QRC, which has been working with the Supreme Council of Health, rolled out phase one of its National Communicable Disease Prevention Campaign (Weqaya) in August of last year.
The goal has been to educate semi- and low-skilled workers living in close quarters with one another about the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness, among other things.
In a statement, the charity explained that it has so far held lectures, workshops and awareness courses for some 10,000 workers across 40 companies in Qatar, as well as 21,000 visitors to the QRC-run and SCH-funded workers’ health centers.
Some 5,000 hygiene kits – containing toothbrushes, soap and other items – have been distributed so far, along with brochures on the most prevalent illnesses like coronavirus, Ebola, influenza, tuberculosis and heat exhaustion.
Other phases that are currently in the works cover issues like psychological health, professional safety and health education on non-communicable diseases.
Healthcare officials have previously warned that Qatar’s blue-collar population is particularly vulnerable to mental health issues like depression, due to loneliness and isolation.
The campaign is picking up speed at a time when Qatar is hiring hundreds of thousands of construction workers a year, ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Workplace safety also remains a concern.
In response to the high death toll of migrant workers, and allegations of abuse and neglect, Qatar last year hired an independent firm to look into living and working conditions of the expat blue-collar workforce.
In its report, DLA Piper recommended the establishment of worker welfare standards, post-mortems of bodies in sudden or unexplained deaths and called for the blacklisting of contractors and employers who breached health and safety standards, among other suggestions.
What do the brochures on heat exhaustion say? I’m all for additional health related education for everyone really. But it almost seems more cruel to educate someone more about it, then not allow that person to drink water during the day in the summer heat in the name of religious piety.
actually several fatwas have been made buy many high ranking scholars in the gulfsaying workers should be allowed to drink water while working during the summer in ramadan. then fast and make up for it later some other other. where i work we force contractors to provide rooms for workers to go and drink and they must provide breaks as is legallly required during peak temperature
That’s good to hear. Interesting that they still have to make up for it later. I wonder if that includes workers that are not Muslim. Kudos to your company for providing water. Hopefully all companies in the region will do the same.
to clarify the “make up for it later” means they fast later on at some point in their lifes on days of their own choosing
Expanding the health campaign is fine but other additional steps like providing the basic, clean and decent sanitary facilities, decent accommodation and training them on safe working culture would contribute to their well being and safety and more productivity at the work place. Giving them all the right medicines and the best of treatments would be of little help if they have to go back to their cramped places of accommodation which would get them sick again and also might contribute to spreading the sickness around