Driver Health (Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases Interventions)

Practicing Commercial and corporate Drivers, due to their nature of work hardly find time off their work to access medical services. They are most times referred to as having poor health seeking behavior without analyzing factors responsible for that behavior among the practicing drivers. The constant movements from one place to another leading to exposure to several women yet they stay most times away from their women, access to disposable income, drug use, etc. These factors have contributed to the drivers being vulnerable to acquisition and transmission of infectious diseases along the transport routes.

Still related to the nature of a drivers’ job; sitting most of the time has slowly led to increasing obesity among the drivers, poor dieting increasing their vulnerability to health situations as pressure, sugar levels, diabetes, gout, etc

It was inevitable to incorporate interventions for infectious diseases and related communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Due to limited literature to support access to door funding for related interventions, with available literature having mainly HIV situation among the long distance truck drivers that has influenced our past and current program focus on HIV and related infections prevention, mitigation and care for Truck Drivers in Uganda as we look forward to having in place relevant data for informed interventions targeting other category of drivers in the near future

Advocacy for Improved Driver Health

Advocacy for Improved Driver Health

  1. Advocated for and influenced 17 transport companies to adopt enabling HIV work place policies for their drivers
  2. UPDN advocated for and is currently a member of The HIV Prevention Technical Working Group at the Uganda Aids Commission
  3. A member of the Ministry of Health National Taskforce for Points of Entry Sub-Committee for Infectious Diseases Prevention
  4. Influenced National policy formulation for COVID19 Guidelines for the Transport Sector in Uganda 2020 and 2021
  5. Influenced tailored National HIV and related infections Prevention, Mitigation and care services and Programs targeting drivers in Uganda from both the Government and Private Sector stakeholders in Uganda. This among others, included influencing location of service delivery points at border points and areas like parking or transport corridors for easy access by the target community of drivers
  6. UPDN has been able to ably influence emerging Government policies, including influencing dropping off unfavorable positions affecting drivers health introduced by Government and road transport stakeholders
  7. Participated in review and update of The Points of Entry Regulations for Uganda under The Ministry of Health

Capacity Building for Improved Driver Health

  1. Offered capacity building trainings for 30 Truck Drivers’ Associations leaders and 30 associations in Uganda to implement HIV Prevention, mitigation and care programs for their members
  2. Trained and refreshed 100 peer educators and champions from the different driver associations across Uganda and currently deployed to support community led interventions for HIV and related emerging infections prevention, mitigation and care in Uganda
  3. Supported all the subscribing drivers’ associations working with UPDN to introduce and implement HIV/AIDs and related infections prevention, mitigation and care programs among their members as part of their association activities
  4. Implemented 21 community dialogue meetings reaching 17,912 practicing drivers with both communicable and non-communicable diseases prevention, mitigation and care services, knowledge, referrals and programs with each of the reached individual encouraged to reach 5 of their friends monthly with the same information, knowledge and programs
  5. Coordinating community led interventions for Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria in Uganda since 2019; especially implementation of community activities in HIV targeting Truck Drivers in Uganda and proud to have reached over 7,000 truck drivers with HIV testing services along with other prevention programs like condoms, self-testing kits, PrEP and PEP
  6. Identified and linked into care 318 HIV positive drivers; both new, those who had known their status and had not started treatment and those who started but eventually dropped out of care

Knowledge Management for Improved Driver Health

  1. Worked with The Government and private sector players to develop and disseminate relevant Infectious Diseases prevention, mitigation and care information, education and Behavioral Change communication reaching over 10,000 practicing drivers in Uganda to date
  2. UPDN is compiling a health services delivery directory to support the mobile drivers with information on locations for facilities, services offered, contact persons for increased uptake of health services, programs, products and information targeting the mobile community of drivers in Uganda
  3. In process of seeking funding for upgrading the existing UPDN mobile App to be able to offer Telemedicine services and strengthen information dissemination, access to relevant prevention, mitigation and care products, referrals and linkages besides being a reminder platform for those enrolled into care
  4. Increased knowledge levels of engaged drivers in HIV and related infectious diseases prevention, mitigation and care contributing to reduced rate of new infections including elimination of emerging diseases like COVID19, Marburg and Ebola among drivers in Uganda
  5. In 2021, UPDN was able to lead a National drive to mobilise especially Truck Drivers to accept taking COVID19 vaccination amidst strong anti-vaccine campaign at the time that saw us influence vaccination uptake of over 6,000 truck drivers across the country

Networking, Coordination and Partnerships for Improved Driver Health

  1. UPDN has coordinated 30 Truck drivers associations in Uganda with 150 truckers’ peers to implement coordinated Driver Health (especially HIV/AIDS) programs in Uganda for their members
  2. Engaged over 30 driver employers and succeeded with 17 so far to operationalize work place based HIV/AIDS policy for their drivers in Uganda
  3. Participated in the Development of The National HIV/AIDS PREVENTION PLAN 2020/2021-2024/2025
  4. UPDN is working with Government and related civil society organizations in Uganda to implement Road Side Stop Center (Drop in centre) programing offering Health services targeting traveling drivers along the transport routes in Uganda. Currently coordinating 31 services delivery points operated by both Government and private sector players including community led and managed centers across Uganda
  5. Coordinating drivers’ involvement and participation in relevant events and activities such as The World AIDS Day, The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Uganda, the National drivers Conference and using them to foster stakeholders collaboration for improving driver health in Uganda
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Blood Donation Drive for Road Crash-Victims WDoR2023