Dec 3, 2009
On 1 December 2009, World Aids Day, the Shoprite Group announced the launch of a new wellness and HIV/Aids service for its over 74 000 employees in South Africa and their immediate families. Called Shoprite Health Link, the service will provide professional advice to acquire better health.
With a focus on interactive health education, counselling and treatment Health Link will not merely assist those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS but also aims to influence behaviour change with the belief that good health is a lifestyle choice.
The Shoprite Group has made significant inroads in the retail industry, both in South Africa and on the rest of the continent. The retailer now continues to prove its progressive nature. By providing the programme to staff and allowing immediate family members access to the services speaks volumes about their holistic approach to health and wellness.
“As Africa’s largest retailer, the Shoprite Group acknowledges its responsibility to assist its employees in attaining healthier lifestyles” says Callie Burger, Human Resources Director for Shoprite. “That is why we are launching Shoprite Health link on World Aids Day to signal that we are serious about our people and their families.
“The group has been providing HIV/Aids education and awareness to its staff for a number of years and we felt it was time to give them more tangible benefits that will assist not only them but the people who depend on them – their families”
Shoprite employees will have access to a 24-hour Health Line where they will be assisted by healthcare professionals from the wellness company, Kaelo Consulting, who will provide counselling, support and advice. In addition, monthly interactive educational materials will also be available to staff with vital information on various chronic diseases and general tips to better and healthier living habits.
Health Link will also provide Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a short-term antiretroviral treatment, to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection after potential exposure by accident or rape.
Thabang Skwambane, executive director of Kaelo says “Health Link is a launch pad for true psychosocial support for one of the greatest threats to our society. This programme was created by all stakeholders and endorsed by Shoprite shop stewards who are critical to its success. It’s a giant leap for a true giant in the retail industry!”