265873 Heath Needs Among the UAE's Migrant Labor Force: Findings from a National Burden of Disease Analysis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Katharine Allen, MA, MPH , Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Migrants make up approximately 80% of the United Arab Emirate's (UAE) workforce. The majority of these workers come from developing countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines. Most of these laborers work in the construction and service sectors and have limited legal rights. Until recently, little focus has been placed on the specific health needs of this vulnerable population, which have remained understudied. This study attempts to fill this knowledge gap by highlighting existing health priorities for migrant workers in the UAE and the requisite governmental action to address them.

Methods: Using secondary data sources such as census data, vital registration systems, hospital registries and household survey data, the primary investigator carried ou a national burden of disease study for the UAE. Official and non-official data sources were used. WHO guidelines for carrying out a national burden of disease study were used. Additional focus was placed on analyzing data by nationality status.

Results: Initial analysis has revealed injuries, most of which are occupational, to be a major contributor to the existing burden of disease. Certain communicable diseases, such as TB and hepatitis, are also much higher in migrant workers. Additional analysis is forthcoming.

Conclusions: This study highlights the unique health burden found among migrant workers in the UAE. It also provides evidence for increased focus on this vulnerable population and discusses suitable health interventions. Finally, this study suggests that increased research should be placed on the mental health needs of these migrant workers.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the leading burden of disease for migrant workers in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) Assess the health priorities and needs for this special population and how the UAE government should respond to these needs

Keywords: Migrant Workers, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led the discussed study on the burden of disease among migrant workers in the UAE. My area of expertise is public health in the Middle East.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.