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IOHSAD commemorates Workers Memorial Day, launches cancer support group for workers

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Health workers were among the audience during the forum

As part of worldwide commemoration of Workers Memorial Day last April 28, 2008, the Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD) conducted a forum on occupational cancer, bringing together experts and workers from both the private sector and the health sector. The forum was held at Room 218, Estrada Hall at the Philippine General Hospital in Taft Avenue, Manila.

“We invited both experts and workers to discuss the hazards of chemicals and pesticides and the increased risk of getting cancer from exposures to this dangers. Dissemination of information amongst workers about cancer is a very important step in facing this danger head on,” said Noel Colina, Executive Director of IOHSAD.

Among those who attended the activity were workers from garments and textiles, manufacturing and paper mill workers, including health workers. Guest speakers tackled issues of pesticide and chemical exposures and shift work as potential causes of cancer for workers.

“We also chose this day to launch Bayanihan: Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kanser, a new cancer support group composed of workers. Bayanihan aims to harness the potential of workers to bring to the workplace level important information about cancer. It also aims to provide moral support to those workers who are currently battling cancer,” stated Colina.

The forum also displayed photos of workplace accidents, including a list of workers who died during the first quarter of 2008. The forum was in cooperation with the All-UP Workers Union-University of the Philippines Manila and supported by the Australia Asia Workers Links (AAWL), Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, Victorian Branch, Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, Victorian Branch, Electrical Trades Union, Victorian Branch, Maritime Union of Australia, Victorian Branch and the Victoria Trades Hall Council.