As host of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar has recently faced harsh criticism about working conditions on the construction sites for the World Cup, but also elsewhere. In this context, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH was contracted to assist the Occupational Health (OH) Section of the Department of Public Health of the by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) – that later became the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) -with the development, implementation, and enforcement of occupational health policies, instruments, and standards. The objective of the project was to reduce the rate of occupational diseases, injuries, and deaths in all workplaces. Furthermore, the project also helped designing a data and information management system to support monitoring and evaluation of and regular reporting on occupational health related indicators across the health system.
management4health GmbH was subcontracted by GIZ to lead project implementation. Key deliverables were focused on the Governance and Leadership structure of the future Occupational Health System, involving a multitude of public and private sector stakeholders; a revised organisational chart of the MOPH Occupational health section representing its (supervisory) roles and responsibilities with regard to System Governance, Service Delivery, and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research; a Strategy and Guidelines for training and licensing of OH Professionals allowing the country to establish a minimum level of OH capacities within a reasonable time frame; and on the development of a Data and Information Management System demonstrating the current status of OH in the country. In this context it shall be noted that the analysis has shown that Qatar’s efforts had already produced significant improvements and the number of deaths related to occupational injuries was reduced to 3.34 cases per 100,000 full time equivalents, a figure within the range of the EU-28 countries. A communication strategy to reinforce the cause of OH with different target groups (health professionals, workers, specifically migrant workers from developing countries, and employers) was developed including examples for priority OH issues (e.g. heat stroke, accident prevention, etc.). Finally, a multi-stakeholder task force was established that continued working on the legal and institutional framework for OH as outlined by the expert team led by m4h even after the end of the project intervention.