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Swine Flu Threat to Gulf Labour Camps

On May 1, 2009

The swine flu pandemic could spread rapildy in overcrowded labour camps in the Gulf, according to a top official from the World Bank (see full article here).

“Migrant workers are among those most at risk, as they live in such close proximity,” said Guy Elena, Director of Health and Education at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) “Large concentrations of people, living in less than adequate hygiene will be exposed much more than those living in a better environment. It would spread like wildfire"

Rooms in labour camps for construction workers are typically shared by at least four people. Labour camps in the Gulf have come under repeated criticism for overcrowding and poor sanitation (see this report here)

The UAE Ministry of Labour has yet to formulate any special precautions for preventing the spread of the disease in labour camps, according to Yousuf Abdulghani, the Ministry's Director of Politics and Strategy.