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COVID-19 stressors on migrant workers in Kuwait: cumulative risk considerations
  1. Barrak Alahmad1,2,
  2. Hussam Kurdi1,
  3. Kyle Colonna1,
  4. Janvier Gasana2,
  5. Jacqueline Agnew3,
  6. Mary A Fox4
  1. 1 Environmental Health Department, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  2. 2 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, , Faculty of Public Health, Kuwait University, Hawalli, Kuwait
  3. 3 Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  4. 4 Department of Health Policy and Management and Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barrak Alahmad; b.alahmad{at}


As a marginalised subpopulation, migrant workers often fall short from protection by public policies, they take precarious jobs with unsafe working and living conditions and they grapple with cultural and linguistic barriers. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, migrant workers are now exposed to additional stressors of the virus and related responses. We applied a comprehensive qualitative cumulative risk assessment framework for migrant workers living in Kuwait. This pandemic could be one of the few examples where the stressors overlap all domains of migrant workers’ lives. No single intervention can solve all the problems; there must be a set of interventions to address all domains. Local authorities and employers must act quickly to stop the spread, ensure easy access to testing and treatment, provide adequate housing and clear communication, encourage wide social support, safeguard financial protection and mental well-being and continuously re-evaluate the situation as more data are collected.

  • public health
  • environmental health
  • health policy

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  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Twitter @barrak1

  • Contributors Concept and design: BA and MAF. Acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data: all authors. Drafting of the manuscript: BA. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Supervision: JG and MAF.

  • Funding This project was funded by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) under the project code: CORONA PROP 134.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No additional data are available.

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