Over the last five years the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers’ Union has conducted awareness and testing for truck drivers along highways in Kenya; focusing on major stopover points and weigh bridges. Last year, with support from SWHAP and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Union held a successful campaign where 6 345 people (including truck drivers, sex workers and employees in companies along the transport corridor) received education on HIV and AIDS and 5 065 learnt their HIV status.
Building on from this campaign, ten companies were identified to participate in a mentorship programme to set up comprehensive workplace HIV and wellness responses. Management sensitisation was held in July to encourage senior level support. By the end of the meeting managers committed to creating supportive environments for programmes to thrive. As a result of this commitment 16 steering committee members were selected and trained in August – building capacity on how to draft HIV and wellness policies and drive programmes. Additionally, the training reinforced the potential benefits of having a healthier workforce for instance; higher productivity, reduced health care costs, decreased absenteeism, lower work-related injuries, higher job satisfaction and performance.
This collaboration, also involving the Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya (COTU-K) and the Federation of Kenya Employees (FKE), seeks to enhance testing uptake and access to services for long distance drivers by ensuring that the workplaces they come from have supportive policies and programmes in place.