SA truck drivers getting serious about health
More than 3 217 truck drivers took advantage of the voluntary, free health screenings offered by Engen’s sixth Driver Wellness programme during 2017.
The Engen Driver Wellness programme is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness (TOCH). The free health screenings are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors and were rolled out at 24 Engen Truck Stops in five provinces between April and November.
Of the 3 217 truck drivers who were screened, 44 percent tested positive for something that was of concern.
Abnormalities included being overweight or obese (20 percent); 3,5 percent tested high for glucose levels and cholesterol; five-percent had high blood pressure and three percent tested positive for tuberculosis.
A total of 6,7 percent of drivers tested positive for HIV and just over two percent had sexually transmitted infections.
“We provide health education about chronic disease and HIV/Aids, and those drivers who are found with abnormalities are provided with a referral letter and advised to visit their general practitioner, the nearest clinic or hospital,” explains Thokozani Mthembu, the CEO of TOCH.
“Facing facts and knowing their numbers and their status is the first step towards getting healthy,” he adds.
As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing is an important indicator that health empowerment is gaining traction.
“There has been a marked increase in the number of individuals using the services we provide, which is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the wellbeing of drivers, and will ultimately lead to a healthier industry,” adds Engen’s corporate social investment manager, Mntu Nduvane.