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POLO to conduct free health checks

31 October 2018

By Daisy CL Mandap

Starting on Nov. 4 and every Sunday thereafter, Filipino migrant workers can drop in on the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Wanchai and have their blood sugar level and blood pressure checked for free.

The new project is the brainchild of Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, who said he was alarmed by the rising number of overseas Filipino workers who are getting sick in Hong Kong.

“Most of the time, it is preventable,” he said. “That’s why it is important that our workers get regular check-ups so they can avoid getting sick.”

The initial batch of volunteers join Labatt Jalilo dela Torre at his office.
He said his office has been compiling statistics which show an alarming increase in the number of OFWs in Hong Kong who are getting seriously ill, or die because such ailments.

In June, then newly arrived welfare officer Virsie Tamayo also expressed concern at the high incidence of cancer among longtime HK OFWs.

She said that in her previous postings in Abu Dhabi and Korea, she did not see the same high rate of occurrence of the disease among OFWs.

Since then, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has begun looking at death statistics on OFWs so a comparative study on the causes could be made.

The free medical check-ups is seen as a first step towards helping OFWs maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Helping administer the check-ups are members of the Filipino Nurses Association Hong Kong and the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran Hong Kong chapter.

At least two POLO officers who are registered nurses, are also expected to oversee the examinations.

Aside from the free check-ups, OFWs can also avail of a free advice on breast self-examination. This is the first step towards preventing breast cancer, still the most common cancer to afflict women.

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