Exhausted workers feel summer’s heat

Over 100 cases of heat exhaustion were reported at different emergency units of the UAE’s public hospitals in July.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  August 7, 2004

Over 100 cases of heat exhaustion were reported at different emergency units of the UAE’s public hospitals in July, most of them regarding construction workers. However, medical sources claim the figure is far less than it has been in previous years. Health workers have attributed reduction to the fact that construction workers are now more aware of the health risks associated with heatstroke and the direct exposure to the sunlight. Health authorities have also been praised for advising workers on how to protect themselves from the sun. According to a medical source at the Emergency Unit in the Central Hospital in Abu Dhabi, over 60 patients suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stress were admitted to the unit last week. Last Monday alone, 36 patients with heat exhaustion were admitted to the unit and were discharged the same day after necessary treatment. Furthermore, the emergency unit at Al Mafaraq Hospital has reported a daily average of two to six cases. “Most patients were outdoor workers suffering mild to moderate heat exhaustion and related problems like dehydration,” said the source. Meanwhile Dr Ghassan Shaker, Head of Occupational Health Department at the Ministry of Health said that specialised medical and paramedical teams from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs are conducting weekly visits to construction sites and labour camps. These teams inspect the work environment and monitor the health services provided for employees.

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