A case study on the implementation of prevalence testing for HIV in a manufacturing company in Kwazulu-Natal

Balding, Alan Guy (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

On t.p.: HIV/AIDS Management.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This article describes the approach taken by a company to successfully implement prevalence testing for HIV at one of its manufacturing sites in KwaZulu-Natal. Ninety point four percent of the employees on site on the day of testing subjected themselves to voluntary anonymous testing. No rewards or incentives whatsoever were offered or given to the participants. The problem faced by the company was that there was increasing mortality amongst its employees, particularly those in the lower job grades, mainly machine operators and other lesser skilled positions. The cost of insured benefits provided by the company’s provident fund for death and disability were increasing and less money could be allocated to funding for retirement. In the absence of any empirical data the company had no idea how they would be affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, other than attempting to use provincial averages. The level of knowledge of HIV and AIDS in the company was judged as relatively poor. Many of the staff, more so the senior staff, had little or no exposure to the disease and what effect it had on those suffering from it or those supporting sufferers. Little had been achieved to manage HIV and AIDS until a workshop was organised by the company for representatives from all branches to attend. Various information topics about HIV were covered at the workshop, which concluded with the site representatives having to work out and table an action plan, and make a personal pledge of what they were going to do to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The workshop was attended by all board members, senior management, shop stewards and shop floor representatives. One of the key features of the presentations was by a senior official of the union, who then assisted throughout the rest of the workshop. Site plans were then later followed up when a central committee visited the sites and presentations on progress were made.At the workshop mention was made of the need to conduct prevalence testing and also the establishment of a HIV/AIDS committee. The site committee made the decision that prevalence testing should take place and consulted the workforce themselves and also through shop stewards. Once it was felt that sufficient support would be forthcoming a date for testing was set. The company had in the meantime contracted with a service provider to do testing where needed. A briefing session attended by the HIV/AIDS committee, shop stewards, the management team and two executive directors was arranged. A doctor employed by the service provider addressed the group and answered their concerns and demonstrated the saliva test on himself. On the day of testing senior management and the senior shop steward walked the factory floor encouraging employees to participate. This intervention has laid the foundation for a successful management campaign against HIV and AIDS in the workplace.

In hierdie artikel word die benadering wat n maatskappy gebruik om die voorkomsyfer van MIV by een van sy vervaardigingsterreine in KwaZulu-Natal to toets, beskryf. Op die dag waarop toetsing plaasgevind het, het 90,4% van die werknemers op die terrain hulleself vrywilliglik laat toets. Tydens hierdie anonieme toetsing is geen belonging of voordele van enige aard aan die deelnemers gebied nie. Die problem wat die maatskappy gehad het, was dat daar n toenemde sterftesyfer onder werknemers in die laer posvlakte soos masjienoperateurs en werknemers in posiese wat minder vaardighede vereis. Daar was stygende koste (in terme van dood en ongeskiktheid) van versekerde voordele waarvoor die maatskappy se voorsieningsfonds voorsiening maak, wat tot gevolg gehad het dat daar minder geld beskikbaar was vir pensionfondse. Omdat daar n tekort van empiriese data was, het die maatskappy geen idée gehad van die effek wat die MIV/VIGS-pandemie op hom sou uitoefen nie, behalwe deur die gebruik van provinsiale gemiddeldes. Die kennis van MIV/VIGS binne die maatskappy is as swak bestempel. ’n Groot hoeleevheid van die personeel, veral die in senior poste, het min of geen blootstelling gehad van die virus en die effek wat dit op VIGS-lyers en die ondersteuners van VIGS-lyers het nie. Min is gedoen on MIV/VIGS te bestuur, totdat n werkswinlek deur die maatskappy georganiseer is vir verteenwoordiges van al, die takke. ’n Verskeidenheid onderwerpe in verband met MIV/VIGS is deur die werkswinkel gedek. Een daarvan was dat die terreinverteenwoordiges n aksieplan moes opstel en n persoonlike eed moes afle dat hulle sou help in die stryd teen MIV/VIGS. Die werkswinkel is deur al die raadslede, senior bestuurslede, werkswinkelassistente en –verteenwoordiges bygewoon. Die hoofsaak van die voorleggings is deur n senior uniebeampte gelei, waarna hy vir die verloop van die program geassisteer het. Terreinplanne is opgestel en dit is later opgevolg deur n sentralle komitee wat die terreine besoek het en voorleggings gelewer het in verband met die vordering wat gemaak is. Tydens die werkswinkel is melding gemaak van die noodsaaklikheid van die toetsing van die voorkomsyfers van MIV en die instelling van n MIV/VIGS komitee. Die terreinkomitee het besluit dat die voorkomstoetsing moes plaasvind nadat die werkersmag en werkswinkelsttistente gekonsulteer is. Nadat besluit is dat die nodige ondersteuning uit hierdie toetsing sou voortspruit, is ’n datum vir die toetsing voorgestel. Vir die interementydperk het die maatskappy ’n diensverskaffer gekontrak om die toetsing, waar nodig, waar te neem. ’n Inligtingsessie is gereel wat deur die MIV/VIGS-komitee, werkswinkelassistente, die bestuurspan en twee uitvoerende direkteure bygewoon is. ’n Dokter, wat deur die diensverskaffer in diens geneem is, het die groep te word gestaan en antwoorde verskaf op hulle vraagstukke. Hy het ook die speekselftoets op himself gedemonstreer. Op die dag wat die toetsing plaasgevind het, het die seniorbestuur en werkswinkel-assistant deur die fabriek geloop en werknemers anngemoedig on aan die toetsing deel te neem. Hierdie intervensie het gelei tot die stigting van n suksesvolle bestuursveldtog teen MIV/VIGS in die werksplek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50235
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