2 Filipino domestic workers die in HK

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Mid-Levels (Photo: Google Maps)

Highlighting the health concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFW), two more domestic workers died here in Hong Kong in the last week, a consulate official said.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said the two Filipino women apparently died of a heart attack. They are the 25th and the 26th dead OFW to be repatriated back to the Philippines from HK this year.

The official said the first worker was found dead inside a toilet in Mid-Levels on July 28.

“She apparently died on July 26 but she was not found until two days later because her employer is bed-ridden. They were the only ones who lived in the flat,” the official said.

“The Filipina was found when her employer’s son visited to have dinner. The door to the toilet was locked and, when it was opened, the worker was dead lying on the floor. There was already a smell,” she added.

The official said the death of the second worker was reported to the consulate on August 2. She was found unconscious on the floor after suffering a heart attack in Tseung Kwan O.

These deaths came only days after domestic worker Bernadett M. Natividad died on July 23 in Kowloon after suffering from a severe hemorrhagic stroke.

According to data from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), stroke was the top cause of illness of OFWs repatriated from HK from 2014 to 2017.

Stroke victims comprised 36 percent of OFWs repatriated back to the Philippines, while those with cancer comprised 27 percent. The other illnesses reported were tuberculosis/ lung problems (13 percent), mild depression (21 percent), and fracture/ spinal problems (three percent), according to OWWA.

Labor Attache Nida Romulo said she would push for foreign domestic workers in HK to have mandatory annual check-ups, like in Singapore.

“There should really be an annual checkup because they suffer from stress—this is a new environment for them—and then we now have these sudden changes in weather,” Romulo said.

“We will support that and we will push for it,” she added.

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