There are some conditions that will bar or stop someone from doing certain jobs. This is because the outcome will affect your health. Medics say that it is important people get to know what conditions they are suffering from and take the necessary precaution.
Dr Regina Mbabazi, an occupational health specialist explains that allergies are one of the most common conditions that people should be aware of when taking up particular jobs.
“For example, in factories that manufacture mattresses, several types of chemicals are used. One such chemical is toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), which can cause asthma because of the effect it has on someone’s respiratory system,” Dr Mbabazi explains.
Dr William Lubega, another public health specialist says a person who is asthmatic should not work in smoky or dusty environments, including carpentry workshops. Heavily perfumed places can also affect a person, if they have allergies or are asthmatic.
“If you are asthmatic you should take care not to work in smoky areas, places with strong chemicals or heavily fumed places which will expose you to an attack,” cautions Dr Sam Zaramba.
He says people with conditions such as anosmia, the inability to perceive odour, or those who lack sense of smell should avoid places which are smoky, or with strong chemical use since such places can have negative effects on their general health. Dr Zaramba explains that sometimes, the loss of sense of smell is partial, although routine exposure can lead to more serious negative effects.
On the other hand, Dr Vincent Karuhanga, of Friends Poly Clinic notes that people with asthma should avoid working under cold conditions, since they are likely to develop chest tightness or difficulty in breathing.
Dr Lubega says people suffering from epilepsy are cautioned against taking up jobs that require them to keep around fire or noisy places, since they are likely to develop negative reactions. It is common to find epileptic people falling in fires
Dr Mbabazi says many employers carryout medical tests on their would-be employees, but rarely take care to check them for good sight, yet for a person to be employed for instance as a driver, they need to have good sight to avoid things like accidents.
“People with sight problems, they may see red as green and green as red, so imagine if such a person is a driver. This means if they are at a traffic light, and the lights turn red, they are likely to proceed and drive off, which could cause accidents,” she explains.
Dr Karuhanga and Dr Lubega also agree that people with uncontrolled hypertension or with high blood pressure could suffer from stroke if they work in environments that are stressful.
Parkinson’s disease is another condition that can prevent a person from engaging in a number of occupations. According to Dr Lubega, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.
He explains, “Progression is usually gradual, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor that affects just one hand, which can progress to stiffness or slow movement. It can also cause slurred speech.”
Dr Lubega says the risk of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, family history of the disease or exposure to toxins. “Usually, it is common among people who are 60 years and older, and men are more likely to suffer from it than females,” notes Dr Lubega. He adds: “People suffering from Parkinson’s disease are usually slow, and experience body tremours just like those suffering from epilepsy.”
While pregnancy may not be a health condition in itself, Dr Mbabzi says pregnant women are advised against working in places that expose them to carrying heavy loads, or standing for long periods of time.
Despite such precautionary measures being outlined however, Dr Mbabazi says often times the need for a person to get a job over-shadows the health implications that may result thereafter.
“Many pregnant women work in tea plantations, standing for long hours and people exposed to chemicals. This is not advisable because the chemicals can have an effect on their unborn babies, but because they need the job, they find themselves in these situations,” Dr Mbabazi says. Pregnant women are also cautioned against working in environments that expose them to paint or lead, as this may affect them and their unborn babies.
If you are diabetic, it is advisable that you work in a place where you can easily find something to eat that suits your health needs. “A job that will keep a diabetic person occupied for 12-long hours without rest is not one that they are advised to take,” says Dr Mbabazi.
Dr Mbabazi, who is also a lecturer at International Health Sciences University says often times, her students have asked her about HIV/Aids as a workplace issue.
“Although most formal workplaces have HIV/Aids policies, treatment and voluntary counselling and testing programmes, people who are found to be HIV positive may not be recruited to join, say the army,” Dr Mbabazi explains. “In the army, there is lot of combat work involved. Imagine you are HIV positive, when would you get time to take your medication and feed well. It is a rigorous and tough life that is not conducive. Some of these measures in place are for our own good,” Dr Mbabazi argues.