Dialogue on Wellness, Health, and HIV/TB interventions for World of Work

in Lesotho

Article | Maseru, Lesotho | 17 March 2023

 The ILO Decent Work Team and Country Office Pretoria supports the Government of Lesotho, in the development of the Implementation Plan and M&E Framework for the National OSH Policy as well as the Dialogue on Wellness, Health, and HIV/TB interventions for World of Work.
In 2020, Southern African TB Health Systems Support (SATBHSS project) assisted the Lesotho Ministry of Labour and Employment to develop a national policy on occupational safety and occupational health in the work environment. Article 4 of ILO Convention on Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No.155) cites, that the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health should incorporate the development of an implementation plan and a monitoring and evaluation plan.
In order to see the national policy implementation, ILO DWT/CO Pretoria provided the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Employment, with technical expertise, to ensure this is fully implemented. This was done through a 5-day Capacity Building Workshop and a Dialogue session on HIV and TB in the world of work with NACOSH.

The Lesotho National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) was established to consider and advise upon any proposed legislation affecting labour, employment, industrial relations or working conditions) in respect of matters affecting the safety, health and welfare of persons at work, or any other persons whose safety, health and welfare may be affected by work activities. It is for this reason, NACOSH is on the forefront in leading the implementation of the National OSH policy and Wellness interventions in the country. This implementation was attended by OSH officials from different government departments, employer representatives and worker representatives including NACOSH members.

In her opening remarks, the Deputy Principal Secretary, of the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Employment, emphasized that” Collectively the national OSH profile, OSH policy and the implementation plan will enhance the OSH infrastructure and OSH management system in the country. This is an opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in effective OSH systems so that a culture of workplace safety and health is recognized and practiced by the employers, workers and the general public.”
The development of this implementation plan and M&E Framework, for the National OSH Policy, came at an opportune time when Lesotho is keen to develop a framework on Wellness, Health and HIV/TB interventions in the workplace. This gave an opportunity to incorporate the Wellness and HIV/TB component into the OSH Policy.

UNAIDS Country Office for Lesotho, made a presentation, that showed the current figures related to HIV/AIDS and its treatment. This presentation was followed by presentation by the National AIDS Commission highlighting the country’s HIV and AIDS situation analysis. Both presentations, gave insight on what may guide the interventions required, for the world of work in Lesotho. NAC also highlighted that Lesotho is in the process of developing their National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (NHASP),

The workshop was sensitized on ILO conventions C155, C187, C190 and the ILO Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work (No.200), which are key International Labour Standards in this process. Group work was introduced, to look into alignment of OSH Bill to ILO Conventions, and development of possible Wellness, Health, and HIV/TB interventions for World of Work.

While this workshop was underway, theGovernment of Lesotho went to ratify 3 key conventions,
The workshop succeeded in developing a draft implementation plan that, reviewed the OSH Policy strategic objectives, drafted the Wellness, Health, and HIV/TB interventions for World of Work, and formulated a gender-responsive implementation plan, inclusive of interventions linked to persons with disabilities and the corresponding M&E framework.