Mobile Farm Clinic Outreach to Address Health Conditions among Latino Migrant Farmworkers in Georgia
Agricultural labor involves exposure to many occupational hazards, some of which can lead to chronic health conditions. The purpose of this study was to conduct an occupational health needs assessment of illnesses and work-related injuries among a Latino migrant farmworker population (recruited to harvest Vidalia onions) in South Georgia. Study data included survey responses from 100 farmworkers attending mobile farm clinics in 2010 at their worker housing residences, supplemented by medical diagnoses data from the same clinics collected over 3 years (2009–2011) for 1161 farmworkers at six different farms. From the survey, the main health problems reported were hypertension (25%), eye problems (12%), musculoskeletal problems (11%), diabetes (10%), and depression (7%). In multivariate analyses, depression scores were associated with having a history of musculoskeletal problems (p = .002). According to the mobile farm clinic data, the most common medical diagnoses included back pain (11.8%), hypertension (11.4%), musculoskeletal problems (11.3%), gastrointestinal disorders (8.6%), eye problems (7.2%), dermatitis or rash (7.0%), and tinea or fungal skin infections (5.6%). The study identified eye and musculoskeletal problems as the major occupational health conditions for this population of farmworkers.