DOH warns call center agent's health

I've been a call center agent working graveyard shifts on and off the year since 2006. Seriously I encountered health problems.

I was not able to get a good sleep, my vision was damaged and I am hearing some static noise from time to time.

I have no choice, I have to quit work and rest.

In the report of Dr. Anthony Leachon, a consultant of the DOH on non-communicable diseases (NCD), "The lifestyle-related illnesses such as stroke, heart disease and cancer have risen at an alarming rate among call center workers"

“Apart from HIV, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Ateneo Univeristy Clinical Psychology department were surprised to see that there is a surge right now of epidemic proportions of call center agents having NCDs,” he said.

He, ILO and the Ateneo Clinical Psychology department will be doing a research on this subject.

“If your call center workers are sick—you have an economic workforce now in a health crisis,”

According to Leachon a health crisis is in the offing if this goes up to 70 or 80 percent.

I really dont smoke but majority of call center agents do smoke, others learned smoking because of the peer pressure. Its a stress relief according to many.

According to the 2008 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS), smoking does not just cause cancer and lung diseases but is also the number one cause of strokes and heart attacks.

Smoking is estimated to have caused 50,000 deaths a year and caused more strokes and heart attacks than diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol.

DOH said smoking incidence is directly proportional to the rise in the number of BPO workers, especially those who are working graveyard shifts.

Leachon said "these young workers have the means or the dispensable income to buy cigarettes"

“It’s dangerous, it’s a double whammy. When you are awake and on the Internet, it’s more opportunity for you to smoke and eat,”

Majority of call center duties starts at graveyard shifts , these employees have higher incidence of lifestyle diseases.

Leachon said he sees around 30 patients a day, with 30 to 40 percent of whom considered young.

“Before, we used to believe that the disease in males would start at 45 years old and 55 years old for females post-menopausal. I see males right now at age 30 to 35 years old sick with non-communicable diseases and females 35 to 40 years old,” the cardiologist said.

According to Dr. Tony Dans of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, NCDs are not the illnesses of the old since it is lifestyle-related.

“If healthy food is expensive, people will eat unhealthy. If there are no places to exercise, people will not exercise. If tobacco is cheap, people will smoke,” Dans said.

Doctors and DOH are supporting the hike in so-called sin taxes pending before the House of Representatives.

DOH claimed that by making the cigarettes more expensive, the incidence of smoking among the poor—who, according to NNHS, smoke more than the rich—would be curbed.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This is one serious matter the government should prioritize especially that the BPO industry is expected to grow in the coming years.

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