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Top two killers of OFWs in the UAE named

68 Pinoys died of cardiac arrest, 30 of brain hemorrhage from January to October this year, according to the Philippine Consulate General.

Napapasin namin na marami ang namamatay dahil sa cardiac arrest at aneurism. Yun usually ang mga causes of death here ng mga Filipinos.

By Jojo Dass

DUBAI:   Cardiac arrest and brain hemorrhage have been noted to be the most common cause of death among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, records at the Philippine Consulate General’s Assistance to Nationals (PCG-ATN) section showed.

“Napapasin namin na marami ang namamatay dahil sa cardiac arrest at aneurysm. (We’ve been noticing that many (OFWs) are dying of cardiac arrest and aneurysm).” Vice Consul Marianne Bringas told The Filipino Times in an exclusive interview. “Yun usually ang mga causes of death here ng mga Filipinos,” she added.

Records obtained from Bringas showed that there were 68 cases of cardio/pulmonary arrest listed as cause of death from January to October this year – or 44.15% of the total 154 deaths for the same period.

She said the records were based on death certificates submitted to PCG-ATN. “Yan yung mga death certificates na dinadala sa amin dito,” she said. “Some of them, we arrange for shipping,” Bringas added.

Eleven Filipinos succumbed to heart attack in January; six in February; four in March; another six in April; five in May and four in June.

There were nine deaths due to cardiac/pulmonary arrest in July; 10 in August; three in September and another 10 in October.

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Brain hemorrhage

Brain hemorrhage, meantime, accounted for 30 of the deaths – or 19.48%, with OFWs dying almost every month, ATN records also showed.

There was one OFW who died of brain hemorrhage in January; three in February; six in March; seven in April; and three in May. Two OFWs died of aneurysm in July; two in August; four in September and two in October, still according to ATN records.

Late last month, a former OFW who had return to Dubai to once again try his luck, died of brain bleeding or aneurysm. Forty-five-year-old Jose Arnold Aguilar of Cotabato was confined for five days at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Rashid Hospital because of a stroke. Well-placed sources said he succumbed to a 90% bleeding of the brain. (See story on the next page)


As of writing, it was learned that there were five more Filipinos in comatose at Rashid Hospital being “stabilized” by doctors. No other details were immediately available except that the patients have been there for the last few months, according to reliable sources. Invoking hospital-patient confidentiality protocol, Rashid Hospital did not divulge further information.

Meantime, Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay, said there was also another OFW in comatose at Rashid Hospital. “The case is not work-related,” she told The Filipino Times, adding that representatives from PCG’s Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) have been in touch with the OFW’s employer. “Everything is being taken care of,” Bay said.

Total number of OFWs in Dubai and the Northern Emirates who have died of the mentioned causes from January to October this year was 154. There were 38 deaths listed as caused by organ failure and 18 as “accidental.”

In most cases, ATN handles repatriation of the remains; there have also been instances where the remains were sent home through help by Good Samaritans like Reynaldo B. Angulo, a volunteer social worker at Rashid Hospital who, as of press time, was working on the repatriation of Aguilar’s.

Cardiac arrest and aneurysm, doctors say, are caused by a range of factors, among them high blood pressure, smoking and stress.

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