After 3,800 deaths in Malaysia, Nepal probes causes

07 Jul 2017 / 12:56 H.

PETALING JAYA: Nepali migrant workers are dying at a far higher rate in Malaysia than in the Gulf countries. Since 2003, at least 3,800 physically and mentally fit Nepalis lost their lives while working here.
A delegation of Nepali officials including medical doctors is currently in Kuala Lumpur to study the deaths of Nepalis in Malaysia, which is the largest work destination country for its migrant workforce.
The Republica newspaper today reported that delegation, which comprises Dr Kedar Baral, registrar of Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Dr Raamesh Koirala, Sanad KC and Raju Pokharel of the Ministry of Health and Arjun Khanal of Ministry of Labour and Employment.
They are expected to come up with suggestions to bring the shocking death rate down. The rate is said to be far higher than recorded in any other of the 110 countries identified as work destinations by the Nepal government, and almost double that in Qatar.
The newspaper said an analysis of post-mortem reports issued by Malaysian hospitals attributes most of the deaths to sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack.
The rest of the deaths have been attributed to other causes including workplace accident, road accident, suicide, physical assaults and chronic disease like tuberculosis, kidney failure and pneumonia.
Nepali rights groups have questioned the reliability of these post-mortem reports. They said Malaysian employers are not obligated to pay compensation and insurance claims to the families of workers dying of causes other than road and workplace accident.
This could be the reason why so many deaths are attributed to heart attack and cardiac arrest, they added.
Rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have claimed that a large number of Nepali workers are forced to work in hazardous conditions without access to decent accommodation, healthcare, food and water.

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