Causes of Death among Thai Workers in Taiwan
1997 Vol.13 NO.10
In the recent years, to meet the labor demands for the 14 major construction projects, the six national development projects and the demand for professional manpower and thus to sustain the economic development, foreign labors have been brought into Taiwan since October l989 (1). These laborers come primarily from the south-east Asian region where infectious diseases still abound. They are required of one physical examination in their country of origin before their entry to Taiwan. They are permitted to stay and work in Taiwan for two years only. To prevent them from bringing infectious diseases to Taiwan (2), they are required of regular follow-up physical examinations after their entry. Focusing on the common health problems of foreign laborers, items of the physical examination includes: chest x-ray, HIV antibody test, serum test for syphilis, hepatitis B surface antigen test, blood test for malaria, and fecal examination for intestinal parasites (3). Positive cases of infectious diseases of known causative agents can be screened through physical examinations and then treated. Diseases of unknown causative agents such as sudden deaths and accidents, however, can not be identified through examinations. They can only be understood through epidemiological surveys or regular surveillance. Since more foreign laborers come from Thailand, the study focused on Thai migrant workers in Taiwan by applying epidemiological methods to investigate the causes of death and their frequency of occurrence by some demographic factors.