Frame national policy on occupational health hazards: WHO

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Chennai, Sep 19 (UNI) The World Health Organisation (WHO) will urge the Centre to formulate a national policy to address the occupational health hazards of all workers, including the unorganised sector.

Speaking on the occasion of inauguration of WHO Collaborating Centre at Sri Ramachandra University here today, WHO Occupational Health Programme Head Gerry Eijkemans said 500 million workers in India were exposed to various occupational health hazards and its high time to frame a policy to check this.

The government should formulate an employment policy, which addresses the occupational health aspect also, Dr Eijkemans said adding that the Health Ministry should work in tandem with Labour Ministry to look into the workers occupational health aspect more seriously.

''Though WHO has set up 70 Collaborative Centres all across the world, the number is much less in South East Asia. In India, we have a Centre and WHO is planning to set up more,'' she said.

WHO Representative to India S J Habayeb said Brazil and India had largest portfolios of WHO and it was need of the hour to frame policies for the welfare of the workers, mostly in the unorganised sector.

WHO Regional Office for South East Asia Director Sayeed said there was a rapid increase in use of asbestos in India, which was posing as a main health hazard for the workers.

''WHO has a clear cut policy to eliminate diseases arising out of use of asbestos,'' he added.


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