A study of occupational and non-occupational health problems among factory workers in a Kenyan industrial town.
Wanyama, Gabriel O
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This was a study of occupational injuries and other health problems among factory workers in the Thika Municipality of Kenya. 'l'hedata was collected between the months of December 1988 and April 1989, during which time, a total of 418 patients were interviewed in four randomly selected clinics belonging to four factories in the study area. These patients were a sample of those who attended the factory clinics for various illnesses and injuries. From the study, it was shown that among those who attended the clinics, most were males ( 86.6 % ).This was in line with the sex distribution of the workers. Similarly, among those patients who attended the clinics, the majority were from the Production Departments, a finding which was due to the fact that the Production Departments employed more workers than the Non-production departments. It was also demonstrated in the study that. among the attendees at the clinics,respiratory diseases were the majority (34.7 % ).Injuries at the work-place were responsible for a total of 43 attendances (10.3 % ).Injuries caused less sickness absence than illnesses. Male patients were shown to have more sickness absence than female patients. Furthermore, among those patients who were interviewed, it was found that the frequency of accidents and that of sickness absence decreased not only with age, but also with the length of employment. The probable reasons for these findings are discussed an•d recommendations are made to the factories concerned and those who would like to carry out research in this area.