Occupational Health Southern Africa - latest Issue
Volume 22, Issue 5, 2016
Author Gill NelsonSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22 (2016)More Less
In the last bumper issue of Occupational Health Southern Africa, we celebrated the National Institute for Occupational Health's 60th anniversary by publishing six papers written by NIOH staff. We were privileged to be the chosen platform for showcasing their work. Although the NIOH staff submitted many more papers than were published, space in the Journal and other factors prevented us from publishing more in the last issue. However, one of the papers, on health promotion (by Hampson et al.), can be found in this issue. The authors comprehensively discuss workplace health programmes and other strategies to improve workers' health.
Source: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22 (2016)More Less
Ntombizodwa Ndlovu has taken over the position of Assistant Editor of Occupational Health Southern Africa from Andrew Swanepoel, as of 1 July 2016. Zodwa is an occupational health researcher, epidemiologist and lecturer in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division, School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Tuberculosis among public sector healthcare workers in eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal : original researchSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22, pp 8 –12 (2016)More Less
Background: South Africa has one of the highest burdens of tuberculosis globally. Transmission of tuberculosis in healthcare settings is common and healthcare workers face an increasing threat of becoming infected.
Objective: The aim of this study was to calculate the incidence of tuberculosis reported among healthcare workers in public sector hospitals and clinics within eThekwini Health District in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from 2006 to 2010.
Methods: A retrospective review of tuberculosis registers at occupational health clinics was conducted in 11 hospitals and four community health centres in the District. All healthcare workers who were diagnosed and treated for tuberculosis at these facilities were included in the study.
Results: Six hundred and eighteen healthcare workers were diagnosed with tuberculosis during the study period; a total of 67 562 healthcare workers were employed. The mean incidence of tuberculosis over the study period was 908 cases per 100 000 (95% CI 771 - 1 046). The incidence of tuberculosis in healthcare workers was higher than that in the general population but lower than in the provincial and district populations.
Conclusion: Tuberculosis among healthcare workers remains an important occupational health issue. The high burden of tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, and under-reporting of tuberculosis among healthcare workers are likely to have masked the high incidence among healthcare workers.
Knowledge of university lecturers about risk factors for neck pain in lecturing and prevention strategies : original researchSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22, pp 13 –16 (2016)More Less
Background: Neck pain is very common with lecturing. Knowledge of the predisposing factors and appropriate prevention strategies will improve job efficiency and quality of life of lecturers. This study investigated knowledge of lecturers about risk factors associated with the development of neck pain from lecturing, and available prevention strategies.
Methods: This study included 200 lecturers at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria, selected using a multi-stage random sampling technique. Their knowledge of associated risk factors and prevention strategies was explored using a validated self-administered questionnaire. One hundred and forty-four valid responses were analysed, using descriptive statistics and correlation statistics.
Results: The participants' ages ranged from 26 to 70 years, with most (54.9%) aged 41 to 55 years. Many (64.8%) had adequate knowledge of the associated risk factors for the development of neck pain, while 35.2% had poor knowledge.The majority (84.5%) had poor knowledge of potential prevention strategies; only 15.5% had fair knowledge. There was no significant relationship between duration of practice of lecturing and knowledge, with either associated risk factors or prevention strategies.
Conclusion: Although most lecturers had adequate knowledge of risk factors associated with the development of neck pain as a result of their lecturing jobs, most had poor knowledge about appropriate prevention strategies. There is a need to educate lecturers on occupational and work station ergonomics, which might improve their job efficiency.
Workplace health protection and promotion communication : current perspectives : issues in occupational health - peer reviewedSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22, pp 17 –20 (2016)More Less
Unhealthy lifestyles contribute to the global burden of disease and impact negatively on work due to increased absenteeism and presenteeism, low morale and poor productivity. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that the worksite is a priority setting for health promotion in the 21st century. It has been estimated that workplace health programmes can improve productivity to an equivalent 20% of the Gross Domestic Product in some countries. However, ironically, if someone experiences a serious job-related injury, the site usually shuts until a root-cause analysis is completed. However, if an employee succumbed to a myocardial infarction on the job due to high cholesterol, work would continue uninterrupted. The fragmentation of health protection programmes (safety and the work environment) and health promotion activities (wellness and disease management) in the workplace limits their overall effectiveness and is not cost effective. Workplaces, physical communities and the home are interrelated, and health behaviours extending across all three cannot be separated. Therefore, the concept 'Workplace Health Protection and Promotion' (WHP&P) systematically integrates health, safety and wellness activities to enhance the overall wellbeing of employees. It is counter-intuitive that the benefits of the inter-relationship between employee health and organisational productivity affords employers a return on allocated resources.
Author Warren MallonSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22 (2016)More Less
An occupational exposure limit (OEL) is defined as the level to which workers are exposed during their working career that should not cause any adverse health effects to them or their offspring. OELs are based on continuous exposure to a chemical (or other) substance via inhalation.
Source: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22, pp 22 –23 (2016)More Less
It is a privilege for me to be back at work, following my absence due to ill health and medical interventions. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all for your support and good wishes for my speedy recovery during a challenging time for me and my family. I also want to specifically thank Cas Badenhorst (Immediate Past President) who acted as SAIOH President during my absence, as well as Kate Smart and Claudina Nogueira, for their support.
Author Khanyile BaloyiSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22 (2016)More Less
In December 2015, the Departments of Health and of Mineral Resources, the four primary mining unions - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, UASA - and the Chamber of Mines, launched a major tuberculosis (TB) screening campaign in South Africa's mining sector. The 'Masoyise iTB' initiative will run over three years and forms part of a broader national campaign announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on World TB Day, 24 March 2015 - under the theme 'Ending South Africa's TB epidemic: Accelerating our response in Key Populations'. The project is in line with current mining industry practice and the industry's TB and HIV Milestones Commitments under the Mine Health and Safety Council.
Author Kim DaviesSource: Occupational Health Southern Africa 22, pp 26 –27 (2016)More Less
In 2017 it will become mandatory for all cadres of nurses to participate in continuous professional development (CPD) activities. All practising nurses will need to accumulate 15 CPD points every year in order to renew their Annual Practice Certificates (APCs) with the South African Nursing Council (SANC). Failure to accrue these points will mean that you will not be able to renew your APC. This applies to all nurses who are working, for example, if you are retired and doing the odd bit of nursing locum work, you will still be required to accumulate the CPD points.