HPB wants firms to educate about Aids, sex disease

First Published  – 15 Nov 2007

SEXUALLY-transmitted infections (STI), mental wellness and chronic diseases ranked fairly low in workplace health programmes (WHP), a survey has revealed.

Less than 8 per cent of companies had education programmes on STI/Aids, while just 16 per cent addressed mental health, the National Workplace Health Promotion Survey 2006 showed. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes received attention in only 19.8 per cent of workplaces surveyed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

Most firms focused on exercise and nutrition, with 42.4 per cent having exercise/fitness and 38.7 per cent nutrition-related programmes. The HPB urged firms to organise health screening for their employees to detect chronic conditions early and to introduce STI and HIV/Aids education as well as mental well-being programmes.

The survey of 688 private companies with more than 50 employees indicated that more were implementing WHP (58.7 per cent compared with 45.1 per cent in 2003).

Some of the hurdles that workplaces cited in organising WHP included limited experience in planning programmes, lack of demand and inadequate budgets.

The HPB said it has a range of programmes to help companies overcome these barriers. Companies can also apply for co-funding of up to $10,000 to kick-start and sustain their health and sports promotion programmes.