Healthworks casts wider net, keeps core

The Healthworks Business Coalition Wellness Officers are responsible for taking AIDS awareness to the factory floor. They will also be looking at other public health issues such as male circumcision, Tuberculosis (TB) screening, and Direct Observation Treatments in mining and fisheries while continuing with the testing for HIV. Regions targeted in the Coalition’s TB campaign are Khomas, Erongo, Karas and Otjozondjupa. The coalition is involved in the training of wellness officers and peer educators in various sectors.

The highly respected NGO, NABCOA, announced it has changed its name to Healthworks Business Coalition after completing a strategic transformation process. The coalition has expanded its range of health related preventative activities while maintaining its focus on HIV/AIDS. The coalition has retained its CEO, Peter van Wyk.

“Our new name has an intentional double connotation. First, it is an organisation involved in Workplace Health and secondly, the corporate strategy of investing in Health in the workplace is one that ‘Works’ from a business perspective. The retention of ‘Business Coalition’ in the name and logo signifies continuity in evolving from NABCOA to Healthworks” said van Wyk.
Healthworks has shifted from the predominant focus on HIV-AIDS (under NABCOA) to an all-encompassing focus on the overall health and wellness of the national workforce. As such, Healthworks plans to team up with some local medical aid companies to promote workplace programmes.
“When we entered the market in 2003 as NABCOA there was still a lot of stigmatisation and many people did not want their status known, which resulted in unnecessary deaths due to non-disclosure and non-treatment. Now there is an improvement because people are willing to know their status and getting treatment. But, over the last few years we have seen an increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure, which impact on lives and hence the decision to focus more on these diseases” he said.
“It was appropriate that we started looking at becoming more sustainable. Since, donors are now withdrawing from Namibia largely due to the re-classification of the country as an upper-middle income nation. We are currently looking at other revenue streams to keep the Coalition going, such as introducing additional services, for example the development of health policies for companies at a fee,” elaborated the CEO on their future strategy.