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      Francis Onasanya

      What’s Occupational Health? Its the promotion and maintenance of a high degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing of workers. by identifying, assessing and preventing Health issues. We can also add that it is adapting workers to work and work to workers.

      The aim and objective of this topic is to remind ourselves of this aspect of Safety in the workplace with a view to constantly maintaining a high level of wellness physically, mentally and socially both in the workplace and outside it.

      It has to do with identifying, assessing and preventing natural and environmental hazards, like skin cancer, snake bites, bee stings, heat stress etc. Other aspects include chemical hazards, poisonous gas like hydrogen sulfide, which is found in large quantities in oil fields.

      Diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis A and B, Intestinal worms, diphtheria.

      HIV: is blood borne, its the Virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). Its a global epidemic and prevalent in sub-Sahara Africa.
      It attacks the immune system and renders it vulnerable to infections. It has no cure!

      Through unprotected sex, sharing of sharp objects like needle, Transfusing unscreened blood, improper sterilization of hospital and barbar’s equipment, from pregnant mother to her unborn child etc.

      It can be diagnosed only by blood test.

      As a Fist Aider in the workplace or as an individual? Abstinence is key.As an individual you should be faithful to your partner. As a First Aider, remember its transmitted though blood and body fluids. Since you may not know who has HIV or AIDS, protect yourself always against exposure, by using disposable gloves from your First Aid Box before administering First Aid.
      During First Aid Training, always endeavour to explain the risks.

      If you have expatriate in your organisation, a good malaria policy should be in place and there should be malaria education.

      *HEPATITIS A & B
      Hepatitis is also blood-borne
      -Hepatitis A is most common, transmitted through blood and body fluids. It is also transmitted through food and water. It is highly infectious, it can affect the liver if not treated on time.

      Prevention is by proper personal hygiene which includes proper handling of food, water and kitchen utensils. Immunisation is also advised.

      -Hepatitis B can cause permanent liver damage and death if not diagnosed on time and properly managed.

      Transmission is though blood and body fluids. And prevention from being exposed to the blood and body fluids of infected person. Immunisation is also advised.

      *TYPHOID FEVER: It is contracted through food or water that has been contaminated by the urine and/or feces of an infected person.
      Prevention is by proper personal hygiene by the infected person in handling food, water and eating utensils to avoid its spread. Immunisation is available.

      *INTESTINAL WORMS: Personal hygiene by all is the best method of prevention desist from walking bare footed

      *DIPHTHERIA:Is a respiratory infection. It can be transmitted from one person to another.
      Prevention is by immunization.

      As safety professionals the onus is on us to constantly create awareness in our workplace to always remind ourselves that most if not all of these diseases can be prevented. That we care so much about the Safety of all.
      Simple thing like washing of hands several times in a day goes a long way.

      The type of water supplied by vendors to our offices should be checked and many other things we consider little count.

      Finally, our commitment should be to zero tolerance to diseases, injuries and accidents in work locations, zero tolerance to non-compliances and always exploring opportunities for continuous improvement.

      I thank you all dear professionals for your time and contributions.

      *Is it possible to contact hepatitis B through handshakes or using same water cup of canteen utensils at work Please I have recorded 35 cases as per pre employment screening at our site date Oct last year till date.

      -NO, it’s not transmitted through that way. Hepatitis B Virus is not transmitted through casual contact like hugging, kissing (except blood is involved), sharing of cups, eating together etc, just like HIV is not transmitted same way. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm

      *Hepatitis is a deadly liver disease and the following symptoms usually come with the disease:

      -Dark urine

      -Stomach pain

      -Yellowing of skin or eyes, otherwise known as jaundice.

      -Pale or clay-colored stool

      -Low-grade fever

      -Loss of appetite


      -Feeling sick to the stomach etc.

      *It’s also important to stress that Hepatitis A virus which causes Hepatitis A disease is transmitted through the faecal-oral route, that is from the stool to the mouth. This means that it’s transmitted through the contamination of food or water by faeces which contain the virus. It is rarely transmitted through blood, and it is the easiest to treat. Hepatitis B and C are primarily blood-borne viruses, and are transmitted in similar ways that HIV is transmitted, that is through blood transfusion, unprotected sex, from infected mother to the child, sharing of sharps etc etc.

      Lecture By
      Theresa Michael.
      (Health & Safety Processional)

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