Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 17, 2009

Heart ailments top cause of Pinoy deaths in KSA
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV02/17/2009 12:40 PM

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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Cardiac arrest is still the number one cause of death of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in western Saudi Arabia, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has said.

Consul General Ezzedin Tago said a total of 154 Filipinos have died in the region last year alone, 85 or 55 percent of whom died of cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular illnesses.Consulate personnel said the figure could be more than double if other parts of Saudi Arabia were included.

Data for the entire kingdom were not immediately available but the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh usually reported far bigger numbers in previous years.The embassy covers the capital city as well as the Central and the Eastern regions, including the key cities of Dammam and Alkhobar.

With the latest statistics, Consul General Tago has urged Filipinos within his jurisdiction and other OFWs in the kingdom take extra care in their food intake and daily activities.

Medical Moreover, it advised OFWs to regularly monitor their health condition.“They must use their medical insurance, see the doctors regularly, they must monitor their health, we are not getting younger anymore so we have to take care of ourselves," he said.Aside from heart attack, the other causes of Filipino deaths recorded in the Kingdom are:• 18 or 11 percent in 2008 compared to 29 20 percent in 2007); stillborn babies (18); work-related (eight); other accidents (five); murder/homicide (four); and suicide (one).

Vice Consul Lorenzo Jungco, head of the consulate’s Assistance to Nationals Section, said he receives almost 13 reports of deaths per month. He said the highest number of deaths reported in one month is 17 and the lowest is 6.According to him, the month of March and October had 17 death cases each while April and December had 16 each. May had 15 cases of death, followed by November, 14; January, 13; , July and Augus, 11 each; June, 10; September eight; and February six.

“It is really sad on our part to see our countrymen returning home in coffins. Everyone must really listen to of the doctor’s advice," said Jungco. He said that of the total number of deaths last year, 126 were male and 28 are female.Jeddah was on the top list with 93 death cases, followed by Abha with 10 cases, Madinah, Tabuk, and Yanbu each with nine reported death cases.

Gizan reported six deaths, Al -Baha four; Taif and Rabigh had three each; Makkah and Najran each had two deaths; and Bisha, Khamis Mushayt, Qassim, Qilwa, Qunfuda and Shoqaiq had one each. Jungco said the bodies of 154 OFWs have been repatriated to the Philippines already. - with Kimberly Jane Tan, GMANews.TV

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