To diagnose and treat work-related diseases among tannery, metal, plastics and garment workers and families, part of a population of 600 000 working people in heavily polluted areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Médecins Sans Frontiérs (MSF) started four clinics as basic occupational health services. Workers were exposed to many high risks, among these chemical substances such as chromium, cadmium, lead, mercury, asbestos; they were also exposed to noise, vibration, electric shock, heat and ionizing radiation. Of the original cohort of 5000 workers, 3200 (64%) came for at least 1 consultation (6-month data) . From these workers 14.6% were diagnosed with suspected work-related diseases using protocols. As some equipment arrived very late, such as an audiometer, this is an underestimation of the true figures. Follow-up consultation was performed for 1447 cases of occupational diseases and work-related injuries.
Replication of such occupational health clinics in a primary health care context, is urgently needed in densely populated urban areas in developing countries as Bangladesh and India. The article is Open Access, published in BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Mar 20;2017. First author is Muralidhar V. PMID: 28320759.