The Trucking Wellness Programme was launched in 1999 as an initiative of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI). The programme is a primary healthcare delivery system dedicated to the health and wellness of those employed in the Road Freight and Logistics Industry. Over the years, Trucking Wellness has evolved into a sustainable model of primary healthcare delivery to key populations through a blend of sleek mobile Wellness Centres and 22 fixed roadside Wellness Centres. These Clinics can be found on all major trucking routes and across South Africa’s borders.
Since its inception, the programme has grown into providing a holistic approach to health and wellness which encompasses a wide range of client specific, easily accessible and free primary health care services, including:
- Condom use education and distribution.
- STI screening diagnosing, treatment and education.
- HIV awareness, information, education, counselling and testing.
- Referrals to appropriate service providers for ART as well as HIV and AIDS treatment and care.
- TB awareness, information, education, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
- Malaria awareness, information, education, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
- Screening tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and body mass index.
- Diagnosis, treatment, care and support of primary health problems or concerns.
The programme is so close to our hearts because a key contributor to the wellbeing of South Africa’s economy is the wellbeing of our trucking and logistics workforce. If the trucking industry is able to move goods across the country efficiently, economic growth will be directly affected in a positive way.
To delve into further detail regarding the life of a truck driver, each day involves incredibly demanding hours, travelling long distances and prolonged time away from home and loved ones. Additionally, the trucking industry, which is faced with the challenges of rising fuel costs, safety and constant driver shortages, now faces an even deadlier threat from the impact of HIV/AIDS. Loneliness has encouraged many drivers, married or single, to find comfort on the side of the road- generally in the arms of a sex worker. The consequences are devastating, with STD’s and HIV/AIDS being rapidly spread from one truck stop to another. This is where the Trucking Wellness initiative comes in.
Since inception to October 2019, Trucking Wellness has provided healthcare education to 842 003 long distance truck drivers, sex workers and community members. 490 279 patients have been consulted and have received various forms of treatment and care, with over 23 million condoms distributed to these key population groups over the past 20 years. Additionally, 83 409 individuals have received STI treatment.
Each of the Clinics are funded by the NBCRFLI and supported by donor organisations, industry partners, local government and relevant health departments.