73 Workplace intervention and research in contract women workers

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Abstract

Introduction

Iron deficiency anaemia in working women is common and is more prevalent in women contract workers. Work place intervention with participatory approach to contract workers’ health and well-being gives a positive outcome as seen in this study.

Methods

Consent was obtained from company management and volunteers. Duration of study was six months. 100 women contract workers were selected in age group 20–45. In the first month clinical history, baseline haemoglobin estimation, dispensation of 30 tablets each of iron with folic acid and multivitamins and diet education was done. 2nd to 6th month, tablets dispensation and diet education was continued. Tablet albendazole for deworming given in first and fourth month. Diet education conducted with charts/posters with details of food containing iron and vit.c. After six months, haemoglobin estimation was done and results were compared.

Results

Base line haemoglobin findings showed 9%-not anaemic, 27%-mildly anaemic, 53%-moderately anaemic and 11%-severely anaemic. Hb% above 11 g/dl was taken as not anaemic. Results at the end of study showed increase in Hb% level, 31%-not anaemic, 48%-mildly anaemic, 19%-moderately anaemic, and 2%-severely anaemic. Hb% above12 g/dl was not observed in anyone in 1 st month and after 6 months intervention 7% were above 12 g/dl. At the end of study period overall improvement in health was noted. Health complaints like tiredness, myalgia, gynaecological problems were less. General health and well-being improved, absenteeism decreased and few persons increased in weight.

Conclusion

Contract workers have lower income and fewer benefits like leave and facilities. They continue working at the cost of their health, especially when they have to support their family. Malnourishment and anaemia in reproductive age group leads to increased maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Workplace interventions as welfare measures in informal sector workers will produce healthy workforce with good physical capacity and thereby productivity of company will increase.

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