The GM South Africa Journey to Health and Wellness
It is a delicate balance that is difficult to achieve, but one that holds the promise of boundless opportunity.
The HIV/Aids epidemic poses one of the greatest challenges to business development in South Africa. HIV-related absenteeism, loss of productivity and the cost of replacing workers lost to Aids threaten the survival of business and other sectors of the economy.
The Company recognises HIV/Aids as a workplace issue and it is treated like any other serious illness/condition in the workplace. This is necessary not only because it affects our workforce but the community as a whole.
A comprehensive workplace programme was introduced in 2001 that has grown into a Holistic Wellness Programme integrating HIV/Aids. The Company’s strategy entails 3 key focus areas:
- Prevention - Awareness & Education - Training
- Detection - Voluntary Counselling & Testing
- Treatment – Medication and nutritional supplements
These focus areas have been broken down into supporting activities, operating at 3 levels:
Activities include Industrial Theatre, training with regard to in-plant bleeding injuries, World Aids Day celebrations, small group talks in the plant, introduction of e-pap and roll-out of anti retroviral treatment, cross reference EAP policy and HIV/Aids work place policy, monthly health related presentations
Activities include providing educational and therapeutic support to affected families of infected employees and vice versa, establishing partnerships with existing community-based structures on HIV/Aids, community based peer educator volunteer program, retiree helpdesk and social investment initiatives
A service rendered to GM South Africa's pensioners since 2002. Home visits, Primary Health Care, Yearly events GM South Africa spends approximately R500 000 to R1 000 000 every year on HIV/Aids and Wellness programmes. In addition to this the Retiree Clinic Cost varies is on average R1,200,000 per annum since 2002.