A significant number of participants in Asia do not easily undergo any health treatment when they are ill and majority of them resort to self-medication using medicine, such as Panadol, Losartan, Valsartan, Melbanin, Tylenol, Lisinopril, Zocor, Motrin and vitamins that are easy to access through friends. Some would call home so that their Family Left Behind (FLB) can give them personal medical advice or send medicines. Majority of the OFWs do not inform their FLB when they are ill.
The ACHIEVE study conducted in 2005 found that Reproductive health problems were experienced by Filipino migrant domestic workers and yet, a significant number did not consult a doctor nor health service provider. Because of fear of losing employment and the fact that most clinics are closed on Sundays, their only Day Off, they resorted to self-medication. Majority of the OFW participants across the regions recognize the need for vaccination and other health preventive services, with most of them needing anti-flu, hepatitis, measles, typhoid fever, tetanus, pneumonia, chicken pox and yellow fever vaccine.
Although there have been many anecdotal accounts of health issues faced by OFWs on the job, the few scholarly studies that had been done on the topic before Dr. Ramirez began doing her research were not extensive.
In her paper “Common Health Problems of Women Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs): Implications To Prevention and Health Services,” CRC Migration and Overseas Filipino Work consultant Dr. Veronica Esposo Ramirez took a pioneering look at the way women OFWs approached their health problems in the various regions where they are deployed.
In October 2019, this pioneering study was the first prize winner of the first ever APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize at the APEC Women and the Economy Forum in La Serena, Chile.
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