Infectious disease management
Exposure to infectious diseases — especially those found in tropical climates — can affect our workforce, their families and surrounding communities. We have established a steering committee for infectious disease control to monitor and address emerging disease-related issues built on the successful organizational structure of our Malaria Control Program. The committee plans to focus on developing and implementing programs in countries with a significant threat of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis; infectious disease outbreaks due to norovirus, pandemic influenza, cholera and other pathogens; tuberculosis; and HIV/AIDS. The committee is working to design and disseminate plans and awareness tools and review disease control programs of various affiliates.
Our workplace HIV/AIDS program, StopAIDS, combines educational programs with access to community-based care and treatment to keep healthy workers disease-free and to educate HIV-positive workers on living with the illness. ExxonMobil does not test for HIV, and HIV status is not a factor in determining an employee’s ability to work.
In 2012, our Angolan affiliate, Esso Angola, held an HIV/AIDS counseling and testing campaign that StopAIDS spearheaded. In partnership with the Ministry of Health’s National Institute in the Fight Against AIDS and the Committee for Businesses in Fighting HIV/AIDS, Esso Angola held a two-day campaign to provide optional testing and counseling to more than 300 employees.
We track employee and contractor incidences of malaria in eight countries. In 2012, 10 malaria cases were reported, compared with 10 in 2011, out of the thousands of non-immune workers located in or visiting endemic areas. Thus far, we estimate our workplace Malaria Control Program has averted 16 deaths and 1,739 cases of malaria among non-immune workers.
We have rolled out a new technology for fieldtesting company workplaces in West Africa and Papua New Guinea. The tests are used to ensure non-immune workers are taking chemoprophylaxis, which is prescription medication used to prevent malaria. The new technology obtains test results within 10 minutes, rather than four weeks, and costs 90 percent less.
Multiple studies point to the fact that investing in preventative health care is an effective way of reducing the incidence of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory ailments, cancer and depression. ExxonMobil’s Culture of Health is our U.S. site-based preventative health and wellness program. ExxonMobil gradually introduced health awareness campaigns and seminars to employees at work sites across the United States in 2012 on topics ranging from workplace ergonomics to eating habits to fitness.
Another example of a local wellness program can be found at our Singapore petrochemical expansion project. Since construction began in 2007, nearly 87,000 construction personnel from 40 countries have performed work at the site. Because of the site’s remote location, the project team developed a fitness-to-work program that includes a full-service medical team on-site, a checklist to screen workers for illness or injury, training on illness recognition, routine health and hygiene inspections and return to-work medical exams. This commitment to comprehensive health care is critical to managing the health and safety aspects of such a large workforce.
We apply a similar approach at our Chad/Cameroon pipeline project. Health care is a valued employee benefit in Chad and Cameroon because it can be difficult to access, especially in rural areas. In 2012, project health care clinics provided more than 19,000 free consultations to ExxonMobil workers.