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ICC Note:

Christians in Pakistan are calling on the government to ensure the safety of sanitation workers following the death of a Christian sewer worker. Last week, a Christian sewer worker died from inhaling poisonous gas after a Muslim doctor refused to treat the Christian because he was fasting. Due to widespread discrimination, Christians and other religious minorities are often relegated to the country’s worst jobs, such as sanitation work. Will this recent death lead to real change? 

06/09/2017 Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) – Pakistani Christian activist Joshua Lahro has urged the government to ensure safety and insurance of the working class; followed by reprehensible misconduct of a doctor in Umerkot’s Civil Hospital where a Christian sweeper lost his life because a doctor refused to attend him. Doctor’s negligence resulted in death of Irfan Masih, who was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state.

In keeping with Pervaiz Masih, brother of deceased: “Dr Yousuf said he would not touch Irfan’s dirty body until it was cleaned because he was fasting.” Pervaiz Masih told the media that he cleaned Irfan’s body, after which an oxygen pump was sent for Irfan, but that was empty.

He detailed that his brother was brought to the hospital as soon as he could but still he could not survive only because of negligence of the doctor. Irfan Masih fell unconscious after he inhaled poisonous gases locked inside a manhole. Irfan had dived down to clean a manhole.

Joshua Lahro has expressed serious concerns regarding the safety of the laborers. In the context of the recent incident where a Christian sweeper was denied medical attention by a doctor who was fasting and refused to touch his unclean body; the activist said that government must take efficacious steps in order to safeguard rights of the working class.

Joshua Lahro urged the government to provide the laborers with basic first aid training. He said that the laborers must be provided with precautionary equipment so that they may be able to cope with emergency situation. He said that workers with improper precautionary equipment must not be allowed to work.

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