Free health screenings for truck drivers

2018-10-11 06:02
=Truck driver Paul Maluleke goes through one of the health checks with Sister Sibongelo during the Engen Driver Wellness campaign.     Photo:SUPPLIED

=Truck driver Paul Maluleke goes through one of the health checks with Sister Sibongelo during the Engen Driver Wellness campaign. Photo:SUPPLIED

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GIVEN the long and lonely hours long haul drivers spend on the road and the stresses associated with the job, drivers are often unable to take time off work to get basic health tests done.

Therefore Engen Driver Wellness offers free voluntary health screenings to South Africa’s truck drivers. This free service will be available in Uitenhage at Penford Engen in Graaff Reinet Road on Tuesday, October 16th from 07:0 to 11:00.

This is part of the Transport month initiatives and Engen Driver Wellness is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness.

Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations, drivers are offered free voluntary screenings in mobile clinics. These are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors where blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS are tested.

Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay says that the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness.

“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,” said Hamdulay.

As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing are important indicators that health empowerment is gaining traction.

“In 2017, 3 217 drivers took advantage of the voluntary free health screenings of which 44% were found to have some form of concern,’ added Hamdulay.

Abnormalities included being over-weight or obese, which accounted for 20% of drivers; 3.5% tested high for glucose levels and cholesterol. Five per cent of drivers tested high for blood pressure and 3% screened tested positive for TB. Drivers who tested positive for HIV totalled 6.7%.

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