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When migrant workers experience occupational injuries, not only do they face the physical damage of their body but also suffer mentally. Furthermore, due to the lack of knowledge of laws and negative external factors, many of them do not understand their rights and are forced to lost assistance and rights they were entitled to enjoy.
NTU Hospital – Environmental Medicine Collaboration Center discovered that even though migrant workers are much more prone to occupational injuries comparing to Taiwanese nationals, they do not utilize the health resources well. As a result, the center collaborated with us, the Rerum Novarum Center, to provide a free occupational injuries treatment and education event. Through the closed relationship between migrant workers and our center, NTU-Hospital sought to study the common occupational injuries migrant fishermen encountered and the treatments they received afterward.
After knowing that there would be doctors coming to the fishing ports to provide free health services through our staff, many migrant workers showed up to the site to discuss their health problems with the doctors. Through thorough examinations and explanations, the workers have a deeper understanding of how they should take care of their bodies and what they can do to soften their pains after works through some physical therapies they can do by themselves.
On top of migrant fishermen, Taiwanese employers and fishermen also took the chance to understand how they can prevent occupational injuries and what they should do if these bad things happen to them. After the event, everyone is thankful, being able to enjoy free health services even in remote fishing ports.
When Rerum Novarum Center staff is helping migrant fishermen to solve their problems, the most difficult cases are usually occupational injuries. The workers may lose the job, affecting their income. More seriously, they may need to face prolong treatments and rehabilitations. However, due to the information inequality, when facing obstacles, migrant fishermen are often confused, not knowing the next steps. Through our educational events, migrant fishermen are more aware of how to protect themselves when working and what they should do to help themselves after experiencing occupational injuries. Having these knowledge, migrant fishermen will have a much safer life in Taiwan.