Work Place Health Promotion:-The Mbarara Based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation & *Boda Bodas* Experience


As I entered into the gates of Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) on Lugazi Road, Mbarara district, I was greeted with great enthusiasm by the gate man who ushered in my team and gave us a ‘good’place to park in. We got out of the car and the gentleman very fast directed us to the office reception:-while he was doing this, I was noticing alot of loopholes concerning the security and health concerns 😉 that posed this institution.

Having been trained and officially certified as an EMT-I Instructor by the famous Magen David Adome-Israel and the Uganda Red Cross Society, part of my job has seen me being deployed to ‘areas where no one would love to put their hand’ ;). I have responded to lung-breaking (read heart breaking) scenes of emmergencies ranging from road accidents to refugee emmergencies and to fires-one of the most deadly scenes-my dear friend 😦 So, back to the point:-
1) There is no check ups done at the gates. The car and people’s suspicious bags are not checked at all. There is no equipment of any sort what-s-ever at the gate to sense for any potentially dangerous equipments that may be smuggled in into the institution.

2) There is a general parking-problem. I have witnessed this in anearly all institutions I have visited in developing countries. People should park their cars, facing the exit or in a way that they will not waste alot of time changing the direction of their cars in case an emmergency. Only the police baracks in Mbarara do this correctly.

3) EGPAF and other institutions have no ‘Emmergency plan’. Many institutions in the 21st Century have no publicly accessed contacts to hospitals, police, doctors or the Red Cross 😦 When I asked what they would do in case a major emmergency happened to their colleagues say a heart attack, or a serious fire, one of the staff told me point blank that ‘we have not had those emmergencies yet! but…anyway, thats why we called you guys here’ 🙂 Great thought I imagined. Better late than never.

4) The Working and underworked equipments! These days, organisations have learnt to appear SMART! by procuring expensive and stocking the equipments around the buildings especially the ‘fire extinguishers’ in this case. 🙂 However, despite the availability, all the staff got no idea about ‘the working of a fire extinguisher’. I cant blame them though, fire fighting is skill which is not taught in the curriculum and thats why there is need for such trainings to staff. Felicitations to EGPAF administration on that note

5) The Office Floor. With the comming of modernisation and sexy buildings, institutions have not been careful on the quality and smoothness of the floor of their offices. Apparently, the WHO correctly shows that more deaths and disabilities are realised from ‘accidents from falls’. EGPAF offices were so smooth, in case of any water spills or flat shoes,staff are at risk of falling.

BOTTOMLINE,
As we like to say, ‘Preparing for an emmergency doesnt necessary invite the emmergency home’ Its safer for it to come and find u armed! Its like having a yellow fever vaccination. 😀 Its high time organisations took health promotion at work so seriously if they are to realise ‘results’ from their employees 🙂 “We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police!” LMAO!!!!!

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