Occupational Health Services in the spotlight on World Tuberculosis Day
World Tuberculosis Day, which falls on 24 March this year, is a good opportunity to focus attention on the importance of occupational health services not only to our clients but also to the wider communities in which we operate.
In 2017, World Health Organisation TB Day is highlighting the need to make sure ‘no one is left behind’ in its mission to ensure everyone has access to adequate healthcare across the world. At Medilink, we, and our clients, are playing our own part in helping this become reality.
Occupational health services, which include Fitness-to-Work and routine health screenings, pre, post and during employment are a cornerstone of the remote site medical assistance we offer clients in the oil, gas and infrastructural sectors. However, under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility, we also run regular health screening and educational programmes at our various regional clinics for the local communities in which we operate.
Medilink can find itself engaged by entities such as NGOs and governments to set up and manage community clinics and hospitals as well as acting as a proponent of health education campaigns.
We regularly work alongside NGO or public health partners on the ground, helping them to inculcate an understanding within local communities of the need for regular screening and vaccination programmes. In these kind of situations, Medilink teams may come across deep-rooted cultural mores that lead communities to view certain, critical medical services – vaccination programmes, for example – with suspicion.
The Story behind World TB Day
It is precisely these kind of barriers to universally-available basic health services that the WHO wishes to overcome. By marking World TB Day, it is making two clear points:
- Firstly, the event reminds us that despite huge advances in its eradication, TB is the top infectious killer worldwide having infected 10.4 million people in 2015, resulting in some 1.8 million deaths last year; and, secondly,
- the WHO is reinforcing its aim to see world progress embrace sustainable development in its fullest sense by ensuring sustainable health care for all, with no part of the world and no individual left behind.
According to the WHO, tuberculosis strikes hard in areas suffering deprivation and where human rights and dignity are limited. While TB can infect anyone, it is rife among the marginalized, migrants, the disabled and other vulnerable groups. Other factors such as poor sanitation, housing and nutrition are also linked to a rise in TB.
Occupational Health Services role as an early detection tool
At Medilink, we fully cognisant of the causes and links of diseases like TB, which can be present in regions where our clients operate. Through our extensive and rigorous occupational health services, health risk assessments and educational programmes, we give clients full peace of mind. Infection can be minimized through preventative measures such as vaccination and education, as well as detected early on by regular health screening. Our Occupational Health services are available at Medilink’s regional clinics.
We offer no lesser a commitment to the communities in which we work, and we united with the WHO in its efforts to help eradicate diseases like TB.