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S08-1 Occupational health education in tanzania; experiences from the occupational safety and health agency
  1. Akwilina Kayumba
  1. Occupational Safety and Health Authority, United Republic of Tanzania

Abstract

Introduction Occupational health education (OHE) is not popular in many developing countries. As for instance in Tanzania, basic OHE is not offered at primary or secondary education levels, only in a few tertiary level colleges. In this regard the majority working population enters the workplaces without any prior background on OHE). To eliminate this gap the Occupational Safety & Health Agency (OSHA) conducts short term courses and seminars to Tanzanian workers given the responsibility of overseeing the health and safety of others at their workplaces.

Methodology Three year (2012–2015) data recorded at OSHA directorate responsible for training, research and statistics was reviewed.

Findings More than 4000 Workers, mostly shop-floor workers doubling as company first aiders, health and safety champions, representatives and health committee members were trained at the agency. Training lasted for three full days for industrial first aid, one week for risk assessment, health representatives and health committee member’s trainings. Three weeks for each of the two modules of National course on Occupational Health Course. 4–8 weeks for university college students undertaking workplace field training.

Number of trainees increased steadily from 700 workers in 2012 to more than 2000 in 2015. Course evaluations indicate enormous education hunger for knowledge. A good gender balance exists in the week-long courses but not in other courses. A linkage/collaboration course for university college students pursuing (OHE) related subjects offers hands on workplace practical training for a possibility of working as occupational health inspectors in future. Teaching material need to be updated and tailor made for the local Tanzanian situation. The agency has no capacity/facilities for scaling up the training despite the high demand.

Conclusion The agency could invest on online training methodology to reach more workers in need of the trainings; more lessons can be leaned form ongoing north south collaboration.

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