Founded in 1998, SWHP is one of the leading Worker Health Programmes in South Africa, providing quality HIV and TB related services to blue collar workers in KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, and Gauteng. Originally providing services to workers in the clothing and textile sectors, SWHP now offers services to all Congress of South African Trade Union affiliates, with a combined membership of over 1.8 million.
Since 2010, SWHP has received funding from the USAID Tuberculosis (TB) Project South Africa through its small grants program to roll-out a TB workplace prevention and program in the above mentioned provinces. To date, through SWHP’s activities:
- 58,577 workers have received TB education and awareness training at factories. TB trainers provide TB awareness and training during workers’ lunch and tea breaks.
- On a quarterly basis, newly appointed shop stewards – i.e., union representatives who are employees of factories but also labor union officials – are trained during a formal 1 day “TB and Infection Control” training to enable them to help educate workers about TB and provide TB related advocacy to management. To date, 549 shop stewards have been trained.
- TB awareness talks were conducted in schools at assemblies or during life orientation classes in the communities in which workers and their families reside. In total 54,798 adolescents were educated on TB and infection control measures required to protect themselves and others from TB.
- At 430 factories, management and workers were trained on infection control measures in the workplace as well as within their own home environments. In addition, infection control committees were formed in factories to oversee the implementation of infection control plans and interventions.
- Through symptomatic screening, 1273 workers were found to be presumptive of TB. Forty seven (47) of those were found to be positive for TB and referred to obtain treatment.