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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.