Scania in Kenya is partnering 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, which kicked off on Monday, involves a three-week registration exercise along truck stops on the highway from Mombasa to Nairobi. During the registration process HIV and wellness tests will be available for competition participants and communities around the truck stops. Any clients that test positive will be followed-up using local community mechanisms 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 register 200 drivers for the competition and reach 9500 drivers, spectators and community members with information on HIV and non-communicable diseases and opportunities for testing. 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.