Job Selection and Supervision

When combating any illness or disease, it is those around us that can play the most important roles, with positive or negative reactions a particular point of concern for patients. Unemployment is a common consequence of skin conditions. Help includes adjustment of the work place to safeguard the skin and awareness of moderate mental ill-health or musculoskeletal disorders. Each of the most prevalent Skin Diseases has Patient Associations with National and International sources of advice.

Warning Vulnerability to climate revealed the impossibility of reducing contact dermatitis. A threatening environment includes Contact (industrial) Dermatitis, and other occupational hazards, such as podoconiosis which are managed by avoidance, or by using protective devises. Having a job or being able to return to looking after house and family is part of adaptation, self help and income generation.

This though, can be extremely difficult for those in other cultures. Abolishing untouchability is a distant dream in most villages of India. It has a major impact on employment. Colour prejudice exists in South Africa even when Apartheid has been outlawed.

Action Guidelines must be prepared for persons affected by skin disease. They are needed for job centres and employers as well as for the patient. Apart from the obvious Industrial Dermatitis of hairdressers, cement factories, copper or coal mines, lowered resistance to wear and tear explain the near impossibility of controlling all harmful environmental factors.

Vulnerability of the skin to the environment makes it more difficult to manage its impairments including loss of manual dexterity as well as sleeplessness, fatigue and the extra time taken to treat, reduce work efficiency. A component of public health, is to get meaningful occupations for people with disabilities who are marginalised by stigma, poverty, chronic illness and even violence. Thus in Africa, Albinism has recently been the focus of murder for body parts for the practice of witch craft. There has to be support from a legal framework, Human Rights and from local and national Government.

"I work in a government funded job office and the effects of people struggling in life can be heart-breaking; getting ill, loss of hope."