Management of health information of Nepalese labour migrants

Author/s: Rajendra Karkee, Minani Gurung, Lisasha Poudel, Chiranjivi Baral, Pratik Adhikary, Radheshyam Krishan KC, Sundip Gurung, Vasil Gajdadziev, Patrick Duigan, Montira Inkochasan, Kolitha Prabhash Wickramage, Ganesh Gurung
Language: English
Publication Type: Scientific report (Journal)(External)

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The monitoring and improvement of the health of labour migrants (LMs) require sufficient health data to be recorded
and managed. In this context, this study was conducted to understand the management of health information of
Nepalese Labour Migrants (NLMs).

This is an explorative qualitative study. Stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in maintaining the health data of
NLMs were first mapped, physically visited, and any documents or information was collected. Then, sixteen key
informant interviews were conducted among these stakeholders related to labor migrants' health information
management and challenges. A checklist extracted information from the interviews, and thematic analysis was carried
out to summarize the challenges.

Government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Government approved private medical centers are
involved in generating and maintaining the health data of NLMs.TheForeign Employment Board (FEB) records deaths
and disabilities of NLMs while at work abroad and maintains an online portal of the Foreign Employment Information
Management System (FEMIS) to collect and report migration-related data. Health assessment of NLMs is a
mandatory procedure before departure, which is done through the government-approved pre-departure private medical
assessment centers. The health records from these assessment centers are first recorded in paper-based form and
then entered into an online electronic form to be stored by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE). The filled up paper forms are sent to District Health Offices, which further report the data to the Department of Health Services
(DoHS), Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and associated governmental infectious diseases centers.
However, there is no formal health assessment of NLMs upon arrival to Nepal. Key informants raised various issues
and concerns in maintaining health records of NLMs, which were grouped into three themes: lack of interest to
develop a unified online system; need of competent human resources and equipment; and inclusion of various health

The FEB and government-approved private assessment centers are the main stakeholders in keeping the health
records of NLMs.Health records of NLMs have not been systematically kept in one database and shared with
governmental health agencies. It is necessary to keep health records electronically in one database with relevant
health indicators on departing and arriving NLMs.

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