Muralidhar and colleagues of the Médecins Sans Frontiérs (MSF) published a remarkable case report in the BMJ on the establishment of basic occupational health services (BOHS) in community primary care in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The service has been developed to diagnose and treat work-related diseases among tannery, metal, plastics and garment workers and families. An analysis of the 6-month data showed that of the original cohort of 5000, 3200 (64%) came for at least 1 consultation. Among them, 468 (14.6%) were diagnosed with suspected work-related diseases. Follow-up consultation was performed for 1447 cases of occupational diseases and work-related injuries. This report clearly shows the need for such services in densely populated urban areas in developing nations like Bangladesh and India. In those countries no specialty occupational health clinics exist in primary care but these are desperately needed. Existing occupational health clinics on factory premises are exclusive to industry workers and are not accessible to communities. Such clinics or other occupational health facilities are not available for the majority of the working population being informal workers. The abstract is free, the article is not free-of-charge.
Muralidhar V, Ahasan MF, Khan AM, Alam MS. Basic occupational health services (BOHS) in community primary care: the MSF (Dhaka) model. BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Mar 20;2017. PMID:28320759 (PubMed)