Health Issues Facing Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia

Topic: Public Health
Words: 298 Pages: 1

Seasonal and migrant farmworkers assisting in crescent, peach, and apple agricultural work in West Virginia face various health issues. The occupational hazards, in this case, are associated with high instances of respiratory conditions following exposure to chemicals on the farm and mental health concerns from pressure in the workplace. Kelly et al. (2020) report that migrant farmworkers are more vulnerable to diabetes than their native counterparts, even though lifestyle issues also determine the susceptibility to this condition. Both seasonal and migrant farmworkers in West Virginia face respiratory-related health conditions since they are exposed to risky environmental factors while working on farms. Hence, issues such as asthma and bronchitis are common among these farm workers. Kelly et al. (2020) also note that migrant workers have a higher risk of contracting viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections since their agricultural work is associated with contact with several organisms that contribute to these conditions. For instance, farmworkers in West Virginia are reportedly six times more vulnerable to TB than individuals working in other sectors.

The high vulnerability to different health issues among seasonal and migrant farmworkers in West Virginia demands that healthcare becomes accessible and affordable. According to Kelly et al. (2020), around 25% of farmworkers demand that community health centers should service their healthcare following their perceived low wages and tight schedule working for the farm. To allow farmworkers to access health facilitated by these centers, Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act funds it annually based on its demands and statistics from the stipulated body (Inc., 2017). Moreover, individual workers have health insurance that allows them to access healthcare anywhere without conditions such as approval from the farm. For instance, some farmworkers have sought Medicaid through the affordable care act to insure themselves and their families against health issues.


Inc., C. (2017). West Virginia labor laws guide. Clockify.

Kelly, N., Glick, D., Kulbok, P., Clayton, L., & Rovnyak, V. (2020). Health status of migrant farmworkers in West Virginia. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 29(4), 214-224.

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