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Occupational Health Skills Programme, October – November 2019

South Africa
Occupational Health Skills Programme, Illovo, Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
7 October – 15 November 2019

This was the first of its kind 6-week skills in Occupational Heath Training Programme and wow was it something special! The Illovo medical team leaders Riekie Leveson and Ernest Peresu in consultation with Lindsay Zurba, Education for Health Africa conceptualised this innovative and unique training programme as part of a serious initiative to upskill their African teams in their Occupational Health offerings.

Two Illovo employees were carefully chosen from 6 different African countries as the recipients of this exceptional training opportunity. The training started 3 months prior to the face to face component of the training with 2 weeks distance learning concepts in each of the 6 modules including self-assessment questions for hand in at the end of each 2 weeks. The 12 learners then travelled in to beautiful KZN from their various home countries for the face to face portion of the training. They were joined by South African colleagues on some of the courses.

Each week on site was spent learning a new module including Introduction to Occupational Health, Baseline Health Risk Assessment, History Taking and Physical Examination, Occupational Spirometry, Audiometry and Vison Screening. Weekdays were spent from 08h00 – 16h00 in the classroom with workplace and clinic visits for practical insights and learnings. Weekends were downtime including at least one fabulous outing each weekend to some of

KZN’s best attractions; Ushaka, Durban beachfront, a boat ride on the harbour, visits to nearby malls, a braai on the beach and much more.

We celebrated the success of the programme on the last evening together with a gala evening including recognition for the top performers on each module and the 3 top performers with the highest combined marks of all modules.

What has amazed me about this programme was how perfectly planned and implemented it was. This was only possible because every person involved made this an astoundingly successful initiative.

Thank you to Ernest, Riekie and the Illovo management for entrusting Education for Health Africa with the upskilling of your staff. Thank you to Nellie, Nonhlanhla and the Eston Training Academy staff for hosting and feeding us so deliciously. Thank you to our amazing team of Education for Health Africa facilitators and support for your endless commitment and patience in development and mentorship of individuals to be the very best they can be. And especially thanks to every one of the learners who committed and worked to the best of their ability to make good on the opportunity offered. Well done!

Now we look forward to the next chapter – converting knowledge gained in the classroom into practical ability in the workplace. This is where the rubber hits the road. We will be there to support you all the way as you continue to learn and grow.

This incredible sunset seen driving to the academy on the evening before the first day of training was a reminder to me of God’s presence and glory and that his hand is on these things and each one of us.

Lindsay Zurba


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