INTRODUCTION : In many sub-Saharan African countries, confronting the dual epidemic of HIV and NCDs is a public health priority especially in high HIV burden countries such as South Africa. Evidence shows that poor health as a consequence of NCDs and HIV among the workforce increases absenteeism and leads to decrease in productivity. However, the prevalence of these co-occurring chronic conditions and associated factors is unknown in the educator workforce. Improved understanding has implications for their management and wellbeing of educators. This paper reports the prevalence of selected NCDs and associated factors among HIV positive educators in South Africa using the 2015/6 survey of Educators in Public Schools in South Africa.
METHODS : This was a second-generation surveillance undertaken among educators in selected public schools in all nine provinces in South Africa. A multi-stage stratified cluster design with probability proportional to size sampling was used to draw a random sample of schools. Factors associated with presence of NCDs were determined using a multivariate backward stepwise logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS : A total of 1 365 schools were sampled within which 21 495 (85.5%) educators were interviewed. Out of 2691, HIV Positive educators that responded to the questions on NCDs, 36.9% reported having NCDs. The most commonly reported NCDs were high blood pressure (17.4%), and stomach ulcers (13.5%). The increased odds of reporting the presence of NCDs was significantly associated with being female than male [aOR = 1.5: 95% CI (1.1–1.9), p<0.002], age 45 to 54 years [aOR = 1.8: 95% CI (1.4–2.2), p = p<0.001], and age 55 years and older than those 18 to 24 years [aOR = 2.7: 95% CI (1.8–3.9), p<0.001). The decreased odds of reporting the presence of NCDs was significantly associated with not being absent from school for health reasons [aOR = 0.7: 95% CI (0.6–0.9), p = 0.003].
CONCLUSION : NCDs care and active screening should be an integral part of HIV programmes including interventions such as prevention, treatment, care and support amongst public school educators in SA. The education department will need to invest in health promotion intervention programmes to prevent and mitigate the negative impact of NCDs and HIV on the sector.