Article from ROAPE Volume 13 Number 36
Redefining Occupational health for Tanzania
Occupational health was defined twenty years ago by the joint ILO/WHO committee on occupational health as ‘the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations.’ This definition has shaped not only the concept but also the organisation and delivery of occupational health services in Africa. Most approaches to workers’ health problems are enmeshed in the medical model that strictly limits its operations to medical service delivery to prevent accidents and diseases in formal and defined occupations, most of which fall into the category of wage employment. All workers outside this category - for example, peasants - are not covered by the ILO/WHO definition.