12 May 2011
A new Trucking Wellness Centre based along the busy truck route in Epping, Cape Town will provide HIV/Aids counselling, testing and condoms to truck drivers using the route. Such centres are planned for major trucking routes throughout South Africa.
Services extended to women
Speaking at the launch of the centre this week, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the services would also be extended to women and young girls who may be at risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
All services will be provided after hours in a confidential setting to secure the dignity of the user.
Motsoaledi said the department was fully aware of the dangers that long-distance truck drivers were exposed to as a result of being away from their spouses for long periods, and that it was important to provide them with primary healthcare services including counselling to minimise the risks to themselves and their spouses.
“I commend the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids and Mercedes-Benz SA for working with us in this regard,” Motsoaledi said.
Last year, Motsoaledi visited India to learn about integrating high-risk groups such as long-distance truck drivers into HIV/Aids prevention programmes.
“What we saw in India forced us to think much more broadly in our fight against HIV/Aids and rolling out of primary healthcare services,” he said.
Motsoaledi has since made a commitment to launch such wellness centres on major trucking routes throughout the country.