Ensuring full healthcare assistance to our workforce in Ethiopia
Salini Impregilo is building two challenging hydroelectric projects in Ethiopia: the Gibe III and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
With its RCC dam 240 metres high, Gibe III will be Africa’s highest dam of its kind, while the GERD will be the largest one in the continent with a length of 1,800 metres, a maximum height of 175 metres, and an overall volume of 10,200,000 m3.
At the end of 2014 these two projects – both located in remote areas of the country – employed some 13,200 direct workers, and approximately 2,300 indirect ones. As is usual in these cases, the Group realised specific accommodation camps to house the entire workforce, equipped with canteens, clinics, and other amenities devised to ensure proper living conditions for all.
At both sites, the medical sections play a key role in guaranteeing the monitoring of the people’s health, the prevention and treatments of diseases, as well as providing guidelines to a healthy lifestyle. The medical staff employed at the two sites comprises about 120 people: doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, first responders, ambulance drivers, and assistants.
In 2014 alone the site’s clinics carried out nearly 130,000 medical consultations involving direct and indirect workforce, as well as over 57,500 laboratory tests and 6,300 medical check-ups. It is important to underline that medical assistance is provided to all the workforce, including those belonging to the subcontractors and the other service providers, and it is also extended to the workers’ family members.
Besides medical and emergency services, the clinics delivered last year over 200 training and awareness courses on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, involving over 4,000 people.
At Gibe III, this awareness-raising program included also the creation of a group of peer-to-peer trainers, adequately trained and certified, who in turn provided peer-to-peer education to selected groups of trainees from the project’s working units. The peer-to-peer program, together with the creation of a group of counsellors and the organisation of several events at the site (such as concerts and meetings), allowed for the spread of information among the resident population, reducing possible discrimination against people affected by these diseases.
This huge effort, also in financial terms, confirms our essential policy of putting people first in everything that we do. Through the daily work of our medical staff in Ethiopia, we are guaranteeing high health standards and better working conditions for all those involved in these unprecedented projects.