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Sophia Kisting, MD: Internationalist seeking global standards
  1. D F Salerno1,
  2. I L Feitshans2
  1. 1Clinical Communications Scientist, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Ann Arbor Laboratories, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  2. 2Adjunct Faculty, Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Albany, NY, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Deborah F Salerno, 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA; 

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(photo credit: Lars-Erik Byström, Swedish National Institute for Working Life).

“Exposure of women to hazards at work is often invisible, in unpaid as well as paid work.”

April 1950– 
 Country of birth: Namibia 
 Sophia Kisting works to reduce HIV infection, improve reproductive health, and conduct occupational surveillance, assessing workers for silicosis and asbestosis. A physician and researcher at the School of Public Health at the University of Cape Town, she is involved in occupational health programmes, including prevention of needlesticks and HIV/hepatitis.

Working in a world where over 65% of the population works without insurance or employee protection, Kisting is particularly interested in women in agriculture, especially exposure of women and children on fruit farms. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 75% of agriculture workers are women in seasonal, casual, or subsistence farming.

Kisting looks to help with the establishment of a strong health and safety network in Africa, and to strengthen the north-south relationship internationally. Gaps in legislation can be exploited, but the goal is one good global standard for working conditions.

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