Health camp finds anemia prevalent among pourakarmikas

Health camp finds anemia prevalent among pourakarmikas

A doctor who checked the civic workers said at least 80% of them were women and 50% are anemic. DH file photo

A screening camp held on Saturday for pourakarmikas and health workers in Mahadevapura ward found most of them suffering from anemia and skin diseases.

A doctor from Sakra Hospital who checked the civic workers said at least 80% of them were women and 50% are anemic. "This finding can be considered as a sample base for BBMP pourakarmikas and workers across the city," said Dr Prapty.

"The workers look pale and are underweight because they don't have a balanced meal and lack nutrition," she added.

The doctor said anemia is a common problem among people in the lower strata, especially among the BBMP workers. Such is its impact that they find it harder to work with their gloves on.

While skin diseases are known to be common among pourakarmikas as they handle waste without protection, prevalence of anemia is a cause for concern, said another doctor.

"Women workers have menstrual abnormalities. Excessive blood loss causes anemia. They're found to have worms in their stomach and their hands and nails are dirty," observed the doctor.

Members of the Citizen Watch Group, Helping Hands, the Rotary Club and residents around Bellandur Lake had organised the health-screening camp for BBMP's pourakarmikas, drivers and sanitation workers at the Mahadevapura ward. Over 300 workers were screened in the camp, held as a part of 'giving back' during the festive Deepavali season. Doctors and paramedics from Sankara Eye Hospital, Sakra World Hospital and Columbia Asia conducted the camp.

Since many are anemic, they will be helped to consult doctors and get non-branded medicines. Expert talks to help the workers understand the dietary changes will also be held, said Sonali Singh, a member of Citizen Watch Group.

BBMP health inspector Mahesh regretted that workers fail to wear masks and gloves given to them by the civic body, resulting in skin diseases. "Anemia is a new finding and we'll have to look into it," he said.

"We give iron and vitamin tablets as supplements, but it looks like the workers aren’t taking them." He also assured that health camps will be held to educate them.