Improving health facilities in wider Alang
Another stated vision for engaging with ship recycling yards in Alang was to contribute to improving conditions for the wider Alang community. On behalf of A.P. Moller - Maersk, the Public Health Institute Foundation of India carried out a survey in the autumn of 2017.
The purpose was to assess the prevailing health hazards in the ship breaking yards in Wider Alang and risks faced by the workers, to assess gaps in existing health care services to address the health care needs of the workers and their families, and to provide recommendations for future efforts. Stakeholders such as the Red Cross, local hospitals and blood bank, workers, local authorities and the local ship recycling industry association were consulted for this survey.
Access to health care – in general and in case of emergencies – was identified by occupational health experts as the most urgent unmet need. As a first intervention in this area, Maersk and partners Indian Red Cross and the Ship Recycling Industry Association (SRIA) have established a mobile health van with a team of professionals that provides health care to all ship recycling workers in Alang as well as to the local community of the wider Alang area.
The mobile health unit will help improve general access to health care and motivate workers to seek early, correct and free treatment. The increased awareness will also promote timely diagnosis and treatment, and educate on healthy behaviour among workers and their families.