By Patrick Biddah
Vivo Energy, a downstream player in the petroleum sector, has yet again gone to the support of commercial drivers .
This time around, they have embarked on a programme to see to the health and fitness being of commercial drivers.
The Programme, which is christened “Fitness 2Drive”, is designed to screen drivers of diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, mental health and factors leading to the risk of getting stroke.
The Programme, which is in partnership with the National Road Safety Authority ( NRSA) and Health Nexus Network, is coming on the heels of a successful launch of the third edition of ‘ STOP, THINK, DRIVE “ campaign which was to teach the drivers the rudiment of safe driving and being responsive to their vehicles.
Speaking at an event to launch the fitness programme yesterday November 2, 2023, at the Neoplan Station in Accra, the Health ,Safety, Security,Environment and Quality Manager at VIVO Energy , Mr Joseph Kankam, indicated that VIVO is committed to ensuring both the safety and health being of commercial drivers.
He said, when both the drivers are in good health and have been trained to use their vehicle responsibly to avoid crashes it goes to save lives of passengers by reducing road traffic accident.
The Programme , he pointed out aims at promoting and enhancing the physical and mental well-being of these drivers to meet a standard operating practice.
According to him , the nature of the Programme is such that the drivers will be screened and made to take part in aerobics and keep fit exercises on dedicated days between 4:00pm and 6;00pm.
Mr Kankam, further noted that this fitness programme, has become necessary because of the health risk factors associated with long hours of driving in a single body posture.
The Chairman of the Health Nexus Network, Dr Elvis Kuma Forson, stressed the need for the health and fitness check of these drivers, saying 3 out of every 10 persons has high blood pressure .
This situation, he explained can result in a sudden heart attack which he pointed out can cause road crash if the victim was a driver.
He further said the fitness of these drivers must be ascertain in order to prevent hidden conditions such as low sugar which can cause the collapse of individual drivers.
About 50 drivers and their executive were expected to have been screened yesterday after the launch.
A representative of the Executive Director of the National Road Safety Authority, Ing. David Adonteng, revealed that, although the statistics for the road crashes have reduced this year as compared to last year, there is the need to ensure the health of the drivers.
For example, he said the road accident has reduced by 7percent this year as compared to last year.
According to him, the percentage of death arising out of accident has also been reduced by 11percent and injuries reduced by 2percent.