Nepali migrant workers are credited with keeping the economy of the country ticking through the remittances they send home. However, this is increasingly at the cost of their own lives. According to data at the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), migrant worker deaths have increased almost 90 percent in the last five years.
The number of deaths of Nepali migrants in various destination countries was just 520 in 2010. The figure surged to 897 in 2014.
According to the data, cardiac trouble, death by natural causes and traffic accidents are the major reasons behind migrant worker deaths. Meanwhile, suicides have also been increasing in successive years.
The highest number of deaths is recorded in Malaysia, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A total of 348 Nepali migrant worker deaths occurred in Malaysia, 231 in Saudi Arabia and 178 in Qatar.
“Our experience is that lack of proper health checkups is one of the major reasons so many Nepalis are dying of heart-related problems,” said director at FEPB, Tika Bhandari.
He added that acclimatization to the hot climate in the Gulf is another hardship faced by Nepali migrant workers.
The situation is not helped by the lack of proper orientation for migrant workers.
“Lack of proper knowledge about local culture and environment in the destination countries is also a responsible factor for the death of migrant workers,” informed Bhandari.