Migrant fishermen get free haircuts during the fair in Kaohsuing. Photo: Facebook / Presbyterian Church In Taiwan Seamen and Fishermen's Service Center

Officials with the Kaohsiung City Government organized a carnival event on the coast on Sunday to celebrate the significant contribution by foreign fishermen to Taiwan, which included free health checks and consultations for migrants.

Lee Huan-Hsun, chief of the city’s Labor Affairs Bureau, officiated at the event on November 25 at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fisheries Civilization.

Lee took the opportunity to express gratitude to over 59,000 migrants who are working as domestic caregivers, factory or shipping workers, the Taiwan Times reported.

But the migrant fishermen, Lee said, were the toughest workers who had to live in the most hostile conditions given unpredictable weather and their constrained living environment.

In order to promote good physical and mental health for migrant fishermen, staff from many government authorities – the National Immigration Agency, the police, the Department of Health, the Fisheries Agency and the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, plus non-government groups were on hand to offer services.

This included giving blood pressure check-ups, dental services, hairstyling and free massage sessions during the festive event.

Migrants who attended said it was very costly to get health check-ups back home, so they were very happy to receive these services for free in the island country.

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