1658j Strengthening the capacities of health systems for detection and notification of occupational diseases

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Abstract

Sustainable Development Goal 1 ‘Eliminating poverty’ call for establishing social protection for all, including for victims of occupational diseases and injuries. However the right of victims to access social protection systems, even if they are available, can’t be guaranteed if health providers are not able to diagnose and report cases of occupational diseases. Existing research suggest that the barriers for health care providers to report occupational diseases include complex diagnostic and exposure criteria, lack of awareness about occupational diseases, their causes and ways of early detection, lack of time and skills to take detailed occupational history, lack of information on workplace exposures, fear from being involved in legal process, and refusal of workers to have their cases notified. The capacities of health services at all levels for detection and reporting of occupational diseases need to be strengthened by including this task in the terms of reference of primary care and specialised healthcare providers, by providing training, reference resources, and awareness raising campaigns among target groups of health care providers and by establishing referral pathways to specialists in occupational medicine. There is a need for additional research to identify the barriers and to assess the effectiveness of the different measures to encourage detection and reporting of occupational diseases.

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