State-of-the-art health monitoring technologies will be deployed to track and support the well being of workers on Qatar 2022 construction projects in the next phase of a programme delivered by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), it has been announced.

A team of experts from the globally renowned medical university will use evidence-based monitoring technology solutions to undertake a three-year field assessment for construction workers on SC sites.

Hi-tech devices will be used to monitor key health indicators such as heart rate and rhythm, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, body temperature and hydration, to identify individuals at risk and ensure preventive measures and care systems are put in place, according to a press statement.

The first phase of the initiative, carried out in 2018, involved SC and WCM-Q partnering to conduct health checks for construction workers, providing health awareness and training campaigns, and working with caterers to optimise the nutritional value of workers’ meals. This work also sets the standards for existing health screening and medical care delivery for workers.

Mahmoud Qutub, executive director of the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department, said: “We are delighted to continue our engagement with the renowned team of experts at WCM-Q. Protecting the health of our workers is of paramount importance to the SC, and this innovative project will further enhance our capacity to do that. This initiative is part of our broader suite of health and safety initiatives and complements the recent decision by the SC to mandate the comprehensive medical screenings for all workers, currently being carried out by the Qatar Red Crescent Society.”

Health indicators such as body weight, smoking status, muscle strength, sleep duration and mental health will also be screened. The modern technology and remote monitoring devices will allow the screening programme to be scaled to cover larger number of workers in the future.

Dr Javaid I Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q, said: “We are delighted to continue our engagement with the SC and commend the forward-thinking efforts of the organisation. The use of hi-tech health monitoring systems places this project at the forefront of global efforts to protect the health of workers, while the continued emphasis on sharing information about healthy lifestyle behaviour and nutrition will enhance the ability of workers to optimise their own health, both here in Qatar and when they return to their home countries.”

The project will also incorporate lessons learned from the field assessments, provide nutritional advice, video-based training resources, and give workers access to nutritionists and relevant information in their languages.

Additionally, the SC and WCM-Q will provide training to contractors, catering staff and Workers’ Welfare Officers on key health issues affecting workers, Qatar’s dietary guidelines, and health and nutritional best practices relevant to the construction industry.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, professor of medicine and assistant dean for clinical investigations, who is leading the WCM-Q expert team, added: “Our collaborative work aims to identify health issues and physiological challenges in workers early on so we can put systems in place to address these in a timely and effective manner. Using technology will allow scaling up of health monitoring quickly and efficiently.

“The work will have a strong legacy and can play a role in further enhancing health and welfare programs across Qatar where large-scale construction projects are underway. The collaboration is a unique opportunity to make an impact on improving the lives of workers and building on the welfare initiatives successfully implemented by the SC.”

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