Qatar’s World Cup 2022 bonanza, and its everyday economy, are built on the bones, and ill-health, of thousands of migrant workers. Uncounted and undocumented are the ‘invisible’ deaths, thousands of miles away from the Gulf’s shores.
Official data on how many Nepalis have died from kidney failure after working in the Gulf are scarce. Nepal’s Ministry of Health still lacks nationwide statistics to estimate the magnitude of the issue, said Bishow Dawadi, a Nepali doctor at the Expert Committee of the Foreign Employment Board, the government agency responsible for the welfare of migrant workers.
Indeed, returnee Nepali migrant workers are “not systematically assessed for incurred health problems upon arrival except for recording physical disability and deaths,” a 2022 study has found. A lack of health records prevents Nepal from assessing the long-term health toll of migration.