Robin Giri

Dharan, June 1:

Asthma has been diagnosed as the main health problem in most workers in jute mills.

It came to light during health check-ups among workers of the jute mill by BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences’ environment administration strengthening programme, recently.

Dr Abhinit Baidya of the community health department in the BPKIHS, who is involved in the health check-up said besides asthma, they had ENT trouble. The health check up was conducted on 142 workers. According to a statistics, nearly 18,000 workers are directly employed in the nine jute industries now in operation in eastern region’s Morang and Sunsari. Dr Baidya says workers suffering from asthma have been diagnosed as patients of ‘Nikoniyosis’, which destroys lung power.

It has long-term affect on patients’ health. “Chances of catching the disease gets doubled if the worker is a smoker,” he said. Although the disease does not appear immediately, TB and asthma are likely to hit them after five or seven years, he added.

Most disappointing factor is that workers initially disagreed that the disease occurred due to their work.