CAR­ING FOR THE NUT HOLD­ING THE WHEEL PAYS DIV­I­DENDS

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

ASPEN Lo­gis­tics last year started im­ple­ment­ing the Truck­ing Well­ness Pro­gramme among its driv­ers.

Speak­ing at the launch, MD of the com­pany Dr Su­jen Pa­day­atchi said healthy driv­ers were crit­i­cal to main­tain the cold chain and com­bat bac­te­ria in the group’s fleet of re­frig­er­ated trucks that trans­port per­ish­able foods overnight.

The Truck­ing Well­ness Pro­gramme is spon­sored by Mercedes- Benz South Africa and man­aged by Cor­ri­dor Em­pow­er­ment Pro­ject and was launched by the Road Freight In­dus­try in 1999 to cre­ate HIV, Aids and STI aware­ness amongst long- dis­tance truck driv­ers, com­mer­cial sex work­ers and the vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties around truck stops.

Michelle Woods told Wheels that last year saw 41 000 driv­ers and women at risk as­sessed. Since 1999 the ini­tia­tive has HIV in­fec­tions de­crease from 20% to the cur­rent 8,9% of driv­ers screened. There has also been a 25% drop in sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tions and a 34% in­crease in driv­ers and sex work­ers seek­ing treat­ment. This means the staff work­ing on Truck­ing Well­ness pro­grammes can now fo­cus on other dis­eases that im­pact driv­ers. Nurses Por­tia Mbatha and Si­bongile Nala told Wheels that they listed their new pri­or­i­ties as di­a­betes, high choles­terol and blood pres­sure, be­fore HIV and TB. • Con­tact Michelle Woods at info@truck­ing­well­ness.co.za for more in­for­ma­tion.

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