Domestic workers in Central, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Asia Times
Domestic workers in Central, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Asia Times

Free medical checkups provided by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Hong Kong found about 3% of the Filipino workers checked had hypertension.

A total of 1,384 Filipino workers underwent the free blood-pressure and blood-sugar tests at the POLO office in Wan Chai from November 4 through to November 28, according to assistant labor attaché Angelica Sunga, reported.

The checkups revealed that 41 workers had hypertension or blood pressure of more than 170 over 100.

Sunga said the result surprised the workers, as they did not have any symptoms. They did not feel dizzy or have any neck pain.

“That is why high blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer,’” Sunga added.

Sunga said the workers were asked to sit down and relax first before taking another blood pressure reading but many still had high blood pressure results.

They also urged the workers to go to a hospital or to a Chinese-Filipino doctor who has a practice in Wan Chai.

The POLO is also planning to buy medical gadgets that will be able to measure a person’s uric acid and cholesterol levels.

An increasing number of Filipino workers have been getting sick in Hong Kong, according to Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, who initiated the project in hope that regular check-ups could help prevent people from getting ill.

The consulate has also asked the Hong Kong government to make health exams mandatory for foreign domestic workers.

Late last month, a 32-year-old Filipino domestic worker from Benguet in Luzon died in Tseung Kwan O just weeks after doctors found that she had advanced cancer in her colon.

ReadFree health checks for Filipino domestic workers in HK