Free health checks for truck drivers this Transport Month
Running for its seventh year, Engen Driver Wellness will reach 19 sites in four provinces during October. Truck drivers in Gauteng were invited to receive free health screenings at Highveld 1 Stop Kempton Park on October 4th and at the Engen Vaal 1 Stop on October 5th.
Mobile clinics were set up at selected Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations. The screenings are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors and include blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS tests.
The drivers also receive free meals, caps and water bottles after each assessment.
Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay says the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness: “Education helps to remind drivers why their health is important and how life choices affect their well-being. Ultimately, this increases their health, safety and productivity.”
A clear indication that this intervention is making a difference is the marked increase in the number of individuals using the services. In 2017, 3217 drivers took advantage of the voluntary health screenings, of which 44% were found to have some form of health concern.
Abnormalities included being over-weight or obese, which accounted for 20% of drivers; 3.5% tested high for glucose levels and cholesterol.
5% of drivers tested high for blood pressure and 3% screened tested positive for TB.
Drivers who tested positive for HIV totalled 6.7%.
“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. Given the long and lonely hours long haul drivers spend on the road and the stresses associated with the job, these interventions form a critical pillar of support,” Hamdulay adds.
She says the Engen Driver Wellness campaign continues to have a massive all-round impact for both drivers and their families, who benefit from reduced exposure to diseases and greater longevity of a breadwinner.