3 July 2012

Zambia: HIV/Aids Policies Vital for Companies


IT is vital for companies to have HIV/AIDS policies in place that are of relevance and use to their employees.

Saturday was World Voluntary Counselling Day (VCT) and the need for people to get tested was being emphasised globally.

Lusaka Water and Sewarage Company (LWSC) thus carried out testing for its employees for Blood Pressure and for HIV/AIDS.

The tests were carried out in Kafue on Tuesday, Chongwe on Thursday and Friday in Lusaka for employees and members of the public.

Topsy Sikalinda who is LWSC Public Relations Officer said the events were in line with this year's theme, which was "reaching everyone, everywhere with VCT services."

He said the company had an HIV/AIDS taskforce that carries out training of employees through workshops and group discussions focusing on issues that are current in the fight against the disease.

Chikotola Tyson who is the focal person for Kafue HIV/AIDS taskforce said the company initiative was meant to reach not only employees and their families but also the surrounding communities.

"We want to provide testing services because as a company we need to know the statistics of our employees and their families, this helps us as a company to assist them." he said.

The testing was done with support of the Ministry of Health (MOH) who had provided medical personnel for the three days.

Robam Mwila an employee of LWSC commended the company for it's initiative saying that it was vital for people to know their status early.

"It is vital to know early so that you put preventive measures to protect you and your family," Mr Mwila said.

And Emily Mwamba who is married to an employee of LWSC commended the counselors for their patience and advice.

"I was advised on how to prevent High Blood Pressure and other ailments. It is a good initiative and we are grateful to the company." she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by that of Ruth Sakala, a resident of Shikoswe in Kafue who added that the company impressed members of the community with its decision to include them in testing as well.

"We rarely have time to go and check things such as our Blood Pressure or HIV status but we are happy because we were tested and counseled. We only hope that they will hold such other initiatives soon." Mrs Sakala enthused.

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