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Stroke/aneurysm kills 3rd OFW in a week

09 December 2019

By Daisy CL Mandap

OFWs are advised to go for regular medical check-ups to avoid getting seriously ill

Another Filipina domestic worker has succumbed to stroke, two days after lying comatose in hospital.

The worker identified only as Ruth A., reportedly died at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong on Dec. 4 due to massive bleeding in her brain.

She was given only a slim chance of surviving when she was rushed there unconscious on Dec. 2.

Ruth was said to be 55 years old, and had worked for the same employer in Hong Kong for 21 years.

She was the third Filipino worker to die from brain and cardio-related illnesses in just a week.

There could be a fourth, according to Welfare Officer Marivic Clarin, if the autopsy on a Filipino domestic worker who fell into Victoria Harbour on Nov. 23 shows he also suffered a stroke.


The worker named Edgar fell into the sea off Ngau Tau Kok while windsurfing with a friend. His friend and other people aboard passing boats tried to rescue him, but he was already unconscious when pulled out of the water.

Edgar was declared dead on arrival at Ruttonjee Hospital. He was 48.

On Nov. 27, two Filipina domestic workers, both relatively young, died within hours of each other due to aneurysm.
The first, Alma, who was 48 years old, was declared dead on arrival at Ruttonjee Hospital in Wanchai.

The second, Rachel, was just 41. She fell unconscious on Nov 26 after suffering a massive hemorrhagic stroke or brain aneurysm and was rushed to Tuen Mun Hospital where she died the next day.

Doctors reportedly told her employer that the bleeding in her brain was so severe there was no chance that she would survive.

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Clarin said the employers of both workers have been cooperating with OWWA in arranging for the repatriation of the remains.

Both workers also have relatives in Hong Kong who are coordinating the repatriation. Alma’s daughter and Rachel’s sister-in-law both work here as domestic helpers.

However, no date has yet been set for the repatriation of all three Filipina workers.

Edgar’s remains, on the other hand, are set to be flown home on Dec. 15.
Statistics compiled by OWWA's Clarin (center, in brown) show that
brain and heart-related diseases afflict  HK OFWs the most
Clarin has advised all OFWs to always look after their health as Hong Kong tends to have a high rate of illnesses among Filipino migrants compared with other host countries abroad.

A tally Clarin has made of cases reported to OWWA Hong Kong between last year and this year shows that a total of 465 Filipino workers have sought help after getting sick or injured.

Of this number, the biggest number involved cardio and brain-related illnesses (mostly stroke and aneurysm) which had a total of 116 cases.

But the biggest spike in the number of illnesses pertained to breast cancer, which more than doubled over the past year, from 5 in 2018 to 14 so far this year, for a 180% increase.

A total of 36 of gynecological-related cancer cases, such as ovarian and cervical, were recorded over the same period. However, there was a drop in the number of cases year-on-year, from 21 to 15.

Other cancer cases, such as that occurring in the blood or colon, also went up significantly, from 16 to 33, for a 106% increase.

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