1701b Mission iaoh-bohs: occupational health service delivery for informal sector workers through primary care ecosystem

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Abstract

Over 400 million informal workers in India are deprived of organised occupational health care services. Challenges of dysfunctional occupational health care for such a large unorganised workforce stimulated the Indian Association of Occupational Health (IAOH) to launch Mission BOHS incorporating the concept of Universal Health Coverage and BOHS strategies of WHO, ILO, WONCA and ICOH. Considering the serious lacunae in availability of trained human resources in this field, training of primary care professionals in OH assumed particular significance both, in terms of its reach, and accessibility. A Task Force was appointed to study profile, size, characteristics of work and occupational health risks of leading 22 informal industries. The target audience for capacity building identified were Medical Officers of Primary Health Centres (PHC), Employees’ State Insurance Hospitals and Family Physicians. Next step involved the creation and publication of ‘Basic Occupational Health Services for Informal Industry: Manual for Primary Care Providers’ in print and ebook versions. This manual was converted into audiovisual format for training videos screened via satellite for PHC staff during monthly district meetings. Free downloads of ebook were offered on IAOH website, as contact seminars were found to be less effective and more expensive. Pilot BOHS project has been launched in one state subsequently, followed by appointment of BOHS Missionaries across major states to advocate knowledge, attitudes and practices relevant to BOHS. The Primary Care ecosystem offers a potential model intervention in OH for the informal sector in developing countries. Mission BOHS, is work in progress and is expected to penetrate deeper with collaborations between IAOH and Central Labour Insitute, Director General of Factories, Labour Advisory Service, Indian Institute of Public Health.

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