United Nations Day

The 24th October is the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), when the UN officially came into being. It is an important day for highlighting the aims and achievements of the UN and mobilising support for the important work the organisation carries out. The Swedish Workplace HIV and AIDS Programme (SWHAP) works in close cooperation with certain UN agencies such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in contributing to the response to HIV and AIDS through workplace programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. SWHAP provides support for HIV workplace programmes in over 200 workplaces in ten countries. Working in partnership with 106 companies and respective unions, workplace programmes are reaching out to employees, their families and vulnerable populations in the community. In doing so SWHAP strives to contribute to the achievement of the international development goals set by the UN, in particular Millennium Development Goal 6, “Combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other diseases”.

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SWHAP is also part of the ILO’s Inter-Agency Task Team on HIV/AIDS in the World of Work, and supports campaigns such as, “Getting to Zero at Work” and “VCT@Work”, an initiative to reach 5 million workers with voluntary HIV counselling and testing by 2015. As well as providing opportunities for testing, the initiative aims to ensure that those testing positive are referred to appropriate treatment, care and support services. SWHAP is recognised as one of the few programmes aligned to this approach and which incorporates the implementation of the ILO’s Recommendation 200 in its model for workplace HIV and AIDS programmes. This Recommendation is the first international labour standard on HIV and AIDS in the world of work.

Recently SWHAP partnered with the ILO in Zimbabwe to support the development of a specific HIV and AIDS policy for the engineering sector, working with the sector representatives of the employers, the National Engineering Workers Union (NEWU) and the National Employment Council. The policy will ensure safe and healthy working environments free of stigma and discrimination on the basis of HIV status.

ILO Country Office Director, Alphonse Tabi-Abodo, addressing participants at the conference

ILO Country Office Director, Alphonse Tabi-Abodo, addressing participants at the conference

Atlas Copco Zambia Community Outreach

Atlas Copco Child Health Week 2013Twice a year the Zambian government in collaboration with donors, development agents, and corporate business entities conduct nation-wide immunisation and health checks for all children aged between 0-6 years.

Over the years Atlas Copco Zambia has been an integral partner in the roll-out of the week-long child health promotions in Chingola. The company provides logistical and material support to the District Health Management Office, making it possible for residents in the densely populated peripheral areas to receive services.

This year in line with its corporate social responsibility Atlas Copco Zambia directed their support in promoting access to services in the un-serviced areas of Chawama and Chiwempala compounds of Chingola, as a way of contributing to the health and well- being of the Chingola residents. The company provided fuel for sensitisation, lunches to health personnel and incentives to the first hundred infants to be screened at the local health centre. These measures resulted in the townships targeted recording among the highest turnout of families queuing to have their children screened and vaccinated.

Atlas Copco management were greatly encouraged by the success of the exercise and hope to scale up their partnership with the government particularly service provision in the areas of health, education and sanitation.

Many workplace programmes amongst the SWHAP partners have evolved over the years to incorporate wellness into HIV and AIDS programmes. The good work at Atlas Copco Zambia is one example, of SWHAP partners addressing issues of wellness as well as HIV and AIDS in their community outreach efforts.