DUBAI // Eight hundred labourers received free health checks yesterday at a Dubai labour camp.
More than 30 doctors and medical specialists from five hospitals participated in screening all the labourers, from Al Naboodah labour camp in Al Muhaisna, in just two hours.
Arranged by the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) in coordination with the Community Development Authority, the workers were tested for high blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index, and hepatitis.
They also received dental screenings and eye exams, plus lectures on general hygiene and diabetes.
“I was waiting for September when I would go back to Pakistan so I could get medical treatment,” said Mohammed Ishaq, a construction worker with Al Naboodah.
“I had a fall about a year ago and ever since my hip has been aching and my left leg has been numb.
“When I came here I was as strong as a bull, but this last year has taken its toll on me,” said the 50-year-old expatriate, who has worked in Dubai for five years.
“Medical treatment is very expensive for folk like us. Receiving free check-ups like this is a great gift.”
Mr Ishaq said people are always told to eat healthy, but that it is not a simple task for some. “We get a lot of chicken in our meals but hardly any vegetables. Many of us suffer digestive difficulties because of that,” he said.
Rizwan Fancy, chairman of the PAD committee, said if this was the case then PAD could advise the company to adjust meals for their workers in order to make them more balanced.
“We were asked by the CDA to participate in this initiative. It is not the first time we have held health checks like this. We are proud to be able to support the community and work with the Dubai government in any way we can,” he said.
“Health awareness is not widely available to this community, so it is important that we teach them about hygiene and diabetes awareness.”
PAD holds free health checks on the last Friday of every month at its center on Oud Metha Street. The checks are open to all nationalities and religious back grounds, said Mr Fancy.
“The main concerns we have is things like basic hygiene,” said Dr Nighat Aftab, a gynaecologist at
Latifa Hospital and President of PAD’s Medical Wing.
“These workers live in very close quarters and can have some skin problems. We also show them how to clean their teeth, and proper hand washing, which can prevent many diseases they suffer from,” she said.
The workers also had a complimentary Iftar and received gift bags with food and toiletries.
“We are also providing vouchers for basic food items to feed a family of six for a month. This is available to any family, they just have to come to our centreand we investigate to see if they are truly needy,” said Mr Fancy.
PAD has so far distributed food vouchers to 400 families.