Free screening highlights driver wellness

To celebrate transport month in October 2019, Engen once again launched its driver wellness campaign aimed at supporting the health of long-distance truck drivers in South Africa

The Engen Driver Wellness campaign kicked off at the Engen Gateway Truckstop in Musina in October 2019. It is aimed at improving occupational health and wellness among long-distance truck drivers by providing free health screening, advice on healthy lifestyle choices and consultations where necessary.

Running for its eighth year, the campaign reached 18 sites in four provinces throughout October and November. All truck drivers passing through Gauteng, Free State, the Eastern and Western Cape were invited to visit participating Engen One-Stops and Truck Stops for free voluntary health screenings.

In addition to a free screening to test blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, body mass index and HIV status, drivers received free meals, caps and water bottles after each assessment.

In partnership with Thubelihle Occupational Health and Wellness, mobile clinics were set up with qualified nurses and counsellors to conduct the tests and provide advice.

The clinics also provided brochures to further educate truck drivers, Engen petrol attendants and forecourt cashiers about these chronic illnesses. Referral letters were issued where needed to ensure follow-up visits to clinics, hospitals or medical practitioners.

Unathi Magida, head of transformation and stakeholder engagement at Engen, says the primary aim of Engen Driver Wellness is to improve health through awareness and make roads safer. “Given the long hours many truck drivers spend on the road and the stresses associated with the job, these interventions form a critical pillar of support,” she explains.

“It is essential to remind drivers and Engen forecourt staff why their health is so important and how lifestyle choices impact on their well-being. Ultimately, voluntary testing will improve their health, safety, well-being and productivity.”

A clear indication that Engen Driver Wellness is making a difference is the marked increase in the number of individuals using the services. In 2017 and 2018, approximately 4 750 truck drivers took advantage of the voluntary health screenings.

Magida adds: “As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and well-being are important indicators that Engen’s health empowerment is gaining traction.

“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,” concludes Magida.

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