Work-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries in Developing Countries

Original Editor - Habibu salisu Badamasi

Top Contributors - Habibu Salisu Badamasi  

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Workplace injuries impose a significant burden on individuals, organizations and society. The Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), in particular, are among the leading causes, and account for the largest proportion, of workers’ compensation claims.

The WHO report highlighted that specific data relating to work-related musculoskeletal diseases in developing countries is unfortunately, lacking. Insufficient knowledge makes it difficult to know what type of problems and diseases that are most implicated. This makes it difficult to know which occupations are most at risk. However, it is very likely that occupations with heavy physical strain are the ones to be most concerned about; occupations such as construction workers, stone workers, miners and cleaners. There are also a large number of workers in the manufacturing industries who have work situations health personnel should be aware of.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are disorders of the soft tissues and their surrounding structures not resulting from an acute or instantaneous event (e.g., slips or falls). MSDs are considered to be work-related when the work environment and the performance of work contribute significantly to their development. Work-related MSDs are, therefore, distinguishable from occupational diseases in that occupational diseases have a direct cause-effect relationship between a single hazard and a specific disease (e.g., asbestos and asbestosis, silica and silicosis),whereas MSDs do not.

Prevalence of WRMSDs in developing country[edit | edit source]

Musculoskeletal diseases are common in low income countries. Many persons suffer from one of the many different types, involving muscles, tendons, joints and the skeleton. Moreover, the prevalence of these diseases differs from country to country.

Classification[edit | edit source]

In epidemiology literature work- related musculoskeletal disorder are group into

Clinically well-defined disorders (such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and hand-arm vibration syndrome)

Less clinically well-defined conditions (such as tension neck syndrome)

Nonspecific (such as repetitive strain injury [RSI], cumulative trauma disorders [CTDs] overuse syndrome, and cervicobrachial disorders

Types of musculoskeletal disease in different country[edit | edit source]

The major types of work related to musculoskeletal disease in developing countries might be different from the ones you see in developed countries.

Young mason in India.

From the x-ray below, a young 24 old years old Manson from India developed stress fractures due to heavy lifting in his work. The x-ray shows that he has had bilateral femoral neck fractures operations. This man worked as a mason and his work involved lifting stones. The weight of each stone was 10-15kg and he lifted stones about 3-4 hours per day, a total of 100 to 150 stones daily. He develop pain in his groins, and the diagnosis was determined. Many workers in developing countries serious musculoskeletal problems due to lack of lifting aid and must do this type of very heavy lifting during their work day.

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References[edit | edit source]