Taxi associations tackle lifestyle diseases

Taxis. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has implemented a project that aims to bring health care facilities to millions of South Africans.

Santaco recently launched an HIV/Aids and lifestyle diseases awareness drive in collaboration with Taxi Choice, SA Taxi, the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) and Toyota SA, where mobile clinics will be stationed at taxi ranks around the country to provide counselling and testing services.

It is estimated 19 million commuters use taxis on a daily basis and, according to Santaco, these commuters rarely have the opportunity to go to a clinic for regular checkups, Sandton Chronicle.

The mobile clinics will be stationed at various taxi ranks across the country.

Santaco president, Philip Taaibosch, said this was another initiative that would see increased community engagement on a positive platform, in addition to their operation Hlokomela — Sotho for ‘beware’ — which is aimed at bettering relations between drivers and commuters and other road users.

This health, lifestyle and HIV/Aids awareness drive has been launched to coincide with Transport Month this month. The pilot project was launched in KwaZulu-Natal on October 14.

Dr Fareed Abdullah, from Sanac, said the drive was not just about providing free HIV testing but was also meant to provide counselling services and testing for other lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes.

“Detection of these can help with their management,” said Abdullah.

– Caxton News Service

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