CARING FOR THE NUT HOLDING THE WHEEL PAYS DIVIDENDS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.