Author(s): N. Mlangeni, K. Du Preez, M. Mokone, M. Malotle, S. Kisting, J. Ramodike, M. Zungu
Source: NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 1–10
Abstract: In South Africa, 15 percent of informal economy workers are street vendors. The organization of occupational health services in the country, is fragmented and does not cover informal workers. Conditions of work make informal workers extremely vulnerable to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) exposure. In this study, a qualitative risk assessment was conducted among street vendors, followed by focus group discussions. Interpretation of data was according to major themes extracted from discussions. Workers are exposed to several occupational health hazards identified during the risk assessment. There is a lack of workplace HIV and TB services and overall poor access to healthcare. Street vendors, especially females, are at higher risk of HIV, due to gender inequalities. Comprehensive gender-sensitive training on occupational health and safety, HIV, and TB should be prioritized. To reach Universal Health Coverage and achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals’ targets, the health system should improve services for informal economy workers.
Keywords: Occupational health and safety; HIV and TB workplace program; street vendors; informal workers; access to occupational health services; worker’s health