Saturday, 30 June 2012

Women health: Fishing industry harms women more, makes them sick often

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  Women employed in fish processing units suffer from a myriad of health problems including 
premature ageing.
According to a research study carried out by the National Institute of Occupational Health, many women, who work for long hours in fish processing companies spread across the country including Andhra Pradesh, have complained of premature ageing even before they cross 30 years.
According to NIOH scientist Pranab Kumar Nag, the study surveyed the health conditions of women, mostly contract labour, working in fishing harbours and processing units with poor sanitation. Women from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat as also from other States were studied as part of the research project.
It was found during the study that women from one State have migrated to other States to work in the fishing 
industry. Since they spend as much as 14 hours every day in unhygienic conditions in fishing units, they contact several health related problems. The heavy work is telling on their health, he pointed out.
The common health problems they encounter include severe pain in the back, skin and ENT disorders. Some of them have complained of asthma. They are also susceptible to a problem called, "Raynaud's Phenomenon" which affects skin exposing the bones.
Dr Nag said the study revealed that most of these women work in freezing temperatures. He said the institute 
would take up detailed studies in Andhra Pradesh which has a long coastline extending up to 1000 km dotted with a number of fishing harbours and fish processing units.

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