Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
 Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 Users Online:548

  IAOH | Subscription | e-Alerts | Feedback | Login 

Home About us Current Issue Archives Search Instructions
   Next article
   Previous article
   Table of Contents

   Similar in PUBMED
     Search Pubmed for
     Search in Google Scholar for
   Related articles
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded43    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 157-164

How Covid-19 affected the work prospects and healthcare-seeking of women domestic workers in Kolkata City, India? A longitudinal study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of General Medicine, Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shibaji Gupta
1C-1003, Avishikta 2, 369/3, Purbachal Kalitala Road, Kolkata - 700 078, West Bengal
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_346_21

Rights and Permissions

Background: Self-negligence, societal neglect, and lack of access to adequate health care make domestic workers vulnerable to ill-health. COVID-19 has adversely affected the work prospects of people across social classes and their health care-seeking opportunities as well. We studied the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on work prospects and health care-seeking behavior of a vulnerable section of the society – the women domestic workers. Methods: A longitudinal analysis on 292 randomly selected women domestic workers residing in slums of “Kalikapur” locality of Kolkata city, West Bengal (India). Data were collected using a predesigned and pretested schedule twice: in early-2020 (before severe impact of COVID-19) and mid-2020 (during the pandemic ravaging India). Paired t-test and McNemar's test were used to check for significant changes. Result: Of all the participants, 57.2% lost jobs partially while 2.7% were completely jobless in mid-2020; the average daily work-hour decreased by 25.7%. Their average monthly pay significantly reduced (P < 0.05); mean family income in mid-2020 was lesser as well, compared to earlier (P < 0.05). Compared to early-2020, 15.8% more participants were sole bread-winners for their families during COVID-19. Number of participants visiting health practitioners significantly reduced (P < 0.05) in mid-2020. Rise in over-the-counter medicine use (P < 0.05) and increased tendency to ignore symptoms (P < 0.05) during COVID-19 was noted. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected work prospects and health care-seeking behavior of women domestic workers negatively. Most of them faced wage reduction, many becoming sole-earners for their families. This necessitates continued formulation and implementation of strategies ensuring social benefits including healthcare. Awareness about affordable healthcare and ill-effects of bad practices like self-medication should also be built.


Print this article     Email this article