Scania Driver Competition- Kenya
During May, Scania in Kenya partnered with SWHAP to provide HIV and wellness testing for truck and bus drivers through the Scania Driver Competition. The annual competition promotes road safety, driver’s health and acknowledges the driver as the most important asset for achieving economy and safety in driving.
The first phase of the competition involved a three-week registration exercise along truck stops on the highway from Mombasa to Nairobi. During the registration process HIV and wellness tests were made available for competition participants and communities around the truck stops. Over the three week period over 1400 people were tested for HIV. Clients that tested positive were followed-up using local community mechanisms that help to ensure uptake of care and treatment services.
This initiative by Scania is important as drivers’ general health impacts on their ability to do their jobs. Moreover, HIV prevalence amongst this group in East Africa is higher than the national average. Due to the nature of their work, long distance bus and truck drivers spend the majority of their time in transit along the highways far away from their families. This absence from their families often leads to high risk sexual behaviour, transactional sex and multiple sexual partners along major towns and stopover points. It is thus also important to offer counselling and testing services to these communities.
Scania are hoping to reach 9500 drivers, spectators and community members with information on HIV and non-communicable diseases and opportunities for testing during the course of the competition. Testing will also be provided during the regional heats of the competition scheduled for July and August, with the finals to be held in October in Nairobi.
Atlas Copco and Scania Botswana, working in partnership with UNITRANS, the Department of Road Transportation and Safety, Botswana Police, the Ministry of Health and other local actors ran a two-day programme on “Fatigue Management and Road Safety” between 27 and 28 May. The programme was conducted at the busy Mahalapye Bus Rank, 360 kilometres from Gaborone. As well as raising awareness on road safety the programme provided wellness testing for bus and truck drivers and members of the public. Over the two days 300 people including 56 school children were reached with messages on road safety and 55 people participated in the wellness tests. The event was covered in the national press and broadcast on national television.