Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and environmental health hazards among tea pluckers of Maddekanda tea estate in Balangoda Pradeshiya Saba Division, Sri Lanka
Background: Tea pluckers in Sri Lanka play a prominent role in supplying tea for the local and foreign demand. Long standing, bearing weight on back, repetitive hand movements, slip and falls due to walking on uneven grounds lead to various health problems among them. Thus, this study was aimed to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and environmental health hazards among tea pluckers of Maddekanda tea estate in Balangoda area, Sri Lanka.
Design and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 378 tea pluckers, recruited using simple random sampling method. Data were collected by validated, pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire and descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed by using SPSS v20.
Results: The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in any region of the body was 68.5% (95% CI 63.6-73.2) among all participants and prevalence of lower back pain 43.4% (95% CI 38.3-48.8) was high compared to other site of pain. Nearly 98.4% had experienced of leech biting during their work as a main health hazard. Participants who had experienced stress (OR=2.12, 95% CI: 1.119-3.764), and worked for more than 20 years (OR=2.28, 95% CI: 1.37- 3.81) were nearly 2 times more likely to have musculoskeletal pain when compared to their counterparts.
Conclusions: Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain were high among tea pluckers and lower back region was the common site of pain. Leech bite was the other dominant health problem faced by them. Stress, duration of work and age were associated with musculoskeletal pain.
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