Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Accessing Occupational Health Services in the Southern African Development Community Region

Version 1 : Received: 22 July 2020 / Approved: 24 July 2020 / Online: 24 July 2020 (05:02:16 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Masekameni, M.D.; Moyo, D.; Khoza, N.; Chamdimba, C. Accessing Occupational Health Services in the Southern African Development Community Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6767. Masekameni, M.D.; Moyo, D.; Khoza, N.; Chamdimba, C. Accessing Occupational Health Services in the Southern African Development Community Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6767.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6767
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17186767

Abstract

Only 15% of the global population has access to occupational safety and health services. In Africa only 5% of employees working from major establishments, have access to occupational health services (OHS). Access to primary health care (PHC) services is addressed in many settings and inclusion of OHS in these facilities might increase efficiency in preventing occupational diseases. A cross-sectional study was conducted in four SADC countries aiming at assessing the availability of OHS at PHC facilities and the organization of OHS. We conducted a literature review to assess the provision and organization of OHS services. In addition to the review, a total of 23 doctors from PHC facilities were interviewed using questionnaires in order to determine the availability of OHS and training. Consultations with heads of ministries were done in four SADC countries. Results showed that in the SADC region, OHS are fragmented and lack a comprehensive approach. In addition, out of 23 PHC facilities only two (13%) provided occupational health and PHC. However, OHS provided at PHC facilities were limited to TB screening and audiometric testing. Our study showed a huge inadequacy of trained occupational health practitioners. This study supports the World Health Organization’s advocacy of integrating OHS at PHC level.

Subject Areas

occupational health services; mining; primary health clinics; labour

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