SASOM Annual General Meeting and Conference 25 November 2017

The KwaZulu-Natal Chapter of The South African Society of Occupational Medicine (SASOM) hosted the SASOM Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 16h00 on 25 November 2017 at the Coastlands Hotel Umhlanga in Durban.

At the AGM, SASOM National Secretary, Dr Jenny Sapire, reported on the SASOM activities during 2017, including:

• The ‘Medical requirements for fitness to drive’ seminar for occupational therapists on 5 and 6 May 2017

• The SASOM Annual Congress on 9 and 10 June in Kempton Park, where Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH) and South African Society of Occupational Health Nurses (SASOHN) members also presented papers, and the ICOH National Secretaries held a meeting

• Two seminars with international presenters were held at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health (SoPH). Prof. Tom Fuller from the USA presented on ‘Global issues in occupational health and safety’ and ‘Innovations in industrial hygiene approaches to infection control’ on 17 July 2017. Olaf Kvaløyfrom SINTEF Digital Acoustics in Norway gave an overview of the Wireless Intelligent Hearing Protective Device on 4 September 2017

• Quarterly meetings of the Department of Labour (DoL) Occupational Health Forum in which Annexure 3 of the Construction Regulations, compensation for occupational injuries and diseases, the proposed National Health Insurance, and reports on inspections of occupational health services were discussed

• A DoL workshop on the Regulations for Hazardous Biological Agents was addressed by Prof. Mary Ross on 29 June 2017

• Academic meetings, with excellent attendance, were held by the following SASOM branches: Klerksdorp, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Port Elizabeth and Western Cape

The SASOM Executive Committee voted in for the year ahead comprises: Prof. Daan Kocks – Chairman; Dr Andre Kotze – Vice Chairman, Dr Jenny Sapire - National Secretary, Dr Adriaan Combrinck – Treasurer. Dr Basil Dhaniram, Dr Steve Goosen, Dr Mahomed Jina, Dr Jan Lapere, Dr Andre Louw, Dr Angel Ndhlovu, Dr Funi Ngcakani and Dr Nick van de Water were voted in as members of the Committee.

The theme of the SASOM Conference which preceded the AGM was ‘Practical Workplace Issues’. The delegates were unanimous in their praise of the excellent presentations which included:

• The challenges of absenteeism, by Dr Nikki Connellan of the Independent Counselling Advisory Services

• Management of absenteeism and ‘sick’ certificates, by Dr Jan Lapere, a SASOM Executive Committee Member

• Inhalant food allergens and asthma in the workplace, by Prof. Mohamed Jeebhay, the Head of the Occupational Medicine Division in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, and the Department of Medicine, at the University of Cape Town

• Key issues on design and implementation of a substance abuse programme, by Dr Greg Kew, an occupational medicine specialist from Cape Town

• Voluntary male medical circumcision and the benefits thereof, by Mr Brad Mears

• Occupational chronic kidney disease of unknown origin, by Prof. David Rees, the Head of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology at the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), and Professor of Occupational Health at the School of Public Health (SoPH), University of the Witwatersrand

• An update on the revised SASOM Guideline: Medical requirements for fitness to drive, by the author Dr Greg Kew

• Report on the activities of the DoL’s Occupational Health Forum, by Ms Jabu Mhlophe, Deputy Director of Occupational Health at the Department of Labour

• An update on the Compensation Fund and the latest legislative changes from the DoL, by Ms Milly Ruiters, Chief Director: COID Services

Where the authors gave permission, their presentations were uploaded to the ‘Information’ column on the SASOM website:

Planning of the next SASOM Annual Congress, to be held in mid-2018, is underway; details will be announced in due course.



Membership renewal forms and subscription invoices for 2018 were sent out early in December 2017. Members are asked to ensure that SASOM has the correct contact details to secure receipt of all issues of Occupational Health Southern Africa. A questionnaire based on the articles is inserted into each issue of the Journal and successful completion thereof, within six weeks, can earn three Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for a member. Thus, six correct questionnaires in the year can earn a SASOM member 18 CEUs.


Report by:

Jenny Acutt

Project Coordinator in the SASOM National Office


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