Conference on Peer Education Sexuality and HIV & AIDS

Peer Educators from the SWHAP network in East Africa were at the 7th Conference on Peer Education Sexuality and HIV & AIDS held in Nairobi Kenya between 15 and 17 June. The conference was held under the theme “Towards Zero: The Bold Steps” and examined the steps necessary to end AIDS by 2030. Over 1000 delegates from 10 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa attended the conference which was opened by the First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta.

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The SWHAP East Africa Coordinator presented on “Creating Sustainable workplace HIV and AIDS Programmes through private public partnership”.

Sharing Experiences in the DRC

One of the objectives of SWHAP is to share learnings, in the last month SWHAP and its partners in the DRC have been sharing the SWHAP approach and benefits realised from the programme. During the CEO network meeting held on 15 June, Sodeico Manpower and Ericsson shared how the programme had been of benefit to both employees and the company bottom line. As a result of a well-run HIV and Wellness programme Sodeico have noted a reduction in absenteeism and HIV related stigma and higher HIV Counselling and Testing uptake. Other presentations were made by the Ambassador of Sweden to the DRC, H.E. Annika Ben David and representatives from the International Labour Organization and head of National AIDS Council who presented on the theme “Partnerships in responding to HIV and promoting wellness for concrete and sustainable results”.

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During the same week SWHAP was also invited to the International Labour Organization tripartite evaluation of the HIV response within the world of work. Here SWHAP discussed the role of trade unions as an important platform for reaching more employees and workplaces with HIV and wellness programmes. Recently SWHAP in the DRC worked with the La Confédération Syndicale du Congo (CSC) where 55 members of the union were trained on how to develop action plans for HIV workplace programmes. The workshop reached representatives from 25 different companies.

HIV and AIDS Policy for the Engineering, Iron and Steel Sector launched in Zimbabwe

On 15 June the National Employment Council for the Engineering, Iron and Steel Sector launched the sector’s policy on HIV and AIDS at a ceremony officiated by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira.

It was the culmination of a journey that started in 2014 when SWHAP partnered with the National Engineering Workers’ Union (NEWU), Engineering Iron and Steel Association of Zimbabwe (EISAZ), the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in support of the policy development. The policy development process was a representative exercise, involving stakeholders from the Engineering Iron and Steel Sector drawn from the various provinces in the country.

The policy is one of 12 sectoral policies on HIV and AIDS out of 48 sectors in the country. It demonstrates the sector’s commitment to complying with national, regional and international guidelines on addressing HIV and AIDS in the workplace. It sets out a framework for the prevention and management of HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and other opportunistic infections and also covers families and dependants of workers in the sector.

During the launch the Minister commended the sector for their proactive approach and noted the importance of public-private partnerships in addressing HIV and AIDS and other public health concerns.

From left Mr. Garira, President National Engineering Workers Union, Hon Prisca Mupfumira, Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and Mr. Kumwenda President Engineering Iron and Steel Association of Zimbabwe

From left Mr. Garira, President National Engineering Workers Union, Hon Prisca Mupfumira, Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and Mr. Kumwenda, President Engineering Iron and Steel Association of Zimbabwe.

For SWHAP this partnership was an important exercise as the SWHAP model is based on cooperation between management and unions at the workplace. SWHAP has found that this collaboration in addressing HIV and AIDS leads to enhanced social dialogue and industrial relations, creating the right conditions for increased understanding, communication and cooperation around other issues affecting the workplace.

Dramatic interpretation of the importance of HIV and AIDS policies performed during the launch which provided testing opportunities for guests

Dramatic interpretation of the importance of HIV and AIDS policies performed during the launch which also provided testing opportunities for guests.

World Day for Safety and Health

On 28 April companies in the SWHAP network commemorated World Day for Safety and Health under the theme “Workplace Stress, A Collective Challenge”.  According to the International Labour Organization “many workers are facing greater pressure to meet the demands of modern working life. Psychosocial risks such as increased competition, higher expectations on performance and longer working hours are contributing to the workplace becoming an ever more stressful environment.” While a certain amount of stress is normal, excessive stress interferes with productivity and is detrimental to employees’ physical and emotional health.

Employees at Sandvik in Zambia commemorated World Day for Safety and Health by donating blood on 26 April as a way of giving back to the community. They also participated in a workplace awareness session on workplace stress and a 2 kilometre walk on 28 April.

Employees at Sandvik in Zambia commemorated World Day for Safety and Health by donating blood on 26 April as a way of giving back to the community. They also participated in a workplace awareness session on workplace stress and a 2 kilometre walk on 28 April.

This year’s theme acknowledged the impact of workplace stress and the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to creating and promoting a safety and health culture in the workplace.

Read more on how to manage stress at the workplace.

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx

Know your status! HIV and wellness testing at Sandvik and SAAB

In South Africa onsite wellness days were held at Sandvik Jet Park and SAAB in April and June respectively. At Sandvik over 70% of the employees participated in the HIV and wellness testing and also updated their health profiles.

Employees at Sandvik Jet Park filling out a health review

Employees at Sandvik Jet Park filling out a health review

Wellness days encourage health seeking behaviours amongst employees and help to raise awareness on health related conditions that may potentially develop into chronic ailments if left unaddressed. As a result of the tests conducted, the two companies can update their company health risk profiles and continue to implement targeted interventions for their workforce. Well-designed wellness programmes can keep healthy employees healthy, support employees with health risks to improve their health behaviours and facilitate organisational efforts to achieve work performance goals.

Wellness tests at SAAB

Wellness tests at SAAB

Gender Mainstreaming

During June and July 14 companies from South Africa, DRC, Zimbabwe and Kenya held gender dialogue training for workplace steering committee members as part of the gender mainstreaming roll-out. The dialogues were facilitated by SWHAP Coordinators and representatives from the University of South Africa, and created safe spaces to address difficult topics in the workplace, such as sex, racism, diversity and other issues affecting the sustainability of organisations. As a next step steering committee members will fill in the gender checklist assessing, leadership, human resource development, management processes, organisational culture and community engagement in order to identify issues relating to gender and diversity that need to be addressed in their organisations. After which companies will hold a series of internal dialogues to ensure that all employees have a shared understanding on gender and diversity.

Gender mainstreaming will allow workplaces to better plan and respond to gender and diversity issues in the workplace, maximising the ability of all employees to contribute to organisational goals.

Benefits of gender mainstreaming for business

  • Men and women have different viewpoints, ideas and market insights, which enables better problem solving, ultimately leading to superior performance at the business unit level.
  • A gender diverse workforce provides easier access to resources, such as various sources of credit, multiple sources of information, and wider industry knowledge.
  • A gender diverse workforce allows the company to serve an increasingly diverse customer base.
  • Gender diversity helps companies attract and retain talented women. This is especially relevant as more women join the labour force around the world.
  • Addressing gender inequalities removes barriers to accessing HIV services, enabling women and men to access comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
DRC dialogues

DRC dialogues

South Africa dialogues

South Africa dialogues

2016 High-Level Meeting On Ending AIDS

SWHAP was honoured to have been invited to be part of the official Swedish delegation to the 2016 High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS held in New York at the beginning of June.  The meeting focused “the world’s attention on the importance of a Fast-Track approach to the AIDS response”. During the meeting United Nations Member States agreed to reach ambitious targets by 2020 including, “fewer than 500 000 people newly infected with HIV, fewer than 500 000 people dying from AIDS-related causes and  the elimination of HIV-related discrimination” in order to end AIDS by 2030 (UNAIDS).

The Fast Track strategy forms part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular Goal 3, ensuring “Good health and wellbeing” for all. It encapsulates a broader approach to addressing HIV and AIDS, recognising other factors that will contribute to successful delivery such as gender equality, laws and policies that block effective implementation of HIV responses, reducing inequalities and promoting partnerships amongst stakeholders.

Achievement of the targets laid out in the SDGs requires a tremendous financial investment that many governments will not be able to match alone and there is growing consensus on the important role the private sector must play. Along with financial resources the private sector has structures, skills, technology and innovative solutions that can contribute to the achievement of the targets.

For business this is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense as the SDGs strengthen the environment for doing business, through for example, mitigating operational risk and increasing social and political license to operate. Specifically, where HIV and AIDS are concerned, an actuarial cost impact assessment conducted for SWHAP revealed that companies that invested in comprehensive wellness management and sexually transmitted infections (STI) programmes and earlier initiation onto treatment for positive workers could potentially make a 47% saving on the loss that would be incurred if no programme was initiated.

Comprehensive workplace programmes with prerequisite HIV and wellness policies protect the rights of all employees and address many structural barriers to testing, which is the key entry point to treatment, care and support. Moreover, as has been the experience within the SWHAP network, partnership with Unions can result in higher testing outcomes as Unions advocate for members to participate in programmes.

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Many workplace programmes also address the gender dimensions of HIV and create platforms for raising awareness on the sexual and reproductive health rights of traditionally stigmatised groups such as men who have sex with men and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed (LGBTI).

There is a clear business case for private sector engagement in the SDGs and in particular ending AIDS. It represents an opportunity to create shared value and contribute to sustainable development for all. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are the way forward, together we can end AIDS in this generation.

Follow SWHAP on Twitter and Facebook for updates

#HLM2016AIDS

Road Safety and Health Campaigns

Scania Driver Competition- Kenya

During May, Scania in Kenya partnered with SWHAP to provide HIV and wellness testing for truck and bus drivers through the Scania Driver Competition. The annual competition promotes road safety, driver’s health and acknowledges the driver as the most important asset for achieving economy and safety in driving.

The first phase of the competition involved a three-week registration exercise along truck stops on the highway from Mombasa to Nairobi. During the registration process HIV and wellness tests were made available for competition participants and communities around the truck stops. Over the three week period over 1400 people were tested for HIV. Clients that tested positive were followed-up using local community mechanisms that help to ensure uptake of care and treatment services.

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This initiative by Scania is important as drivers’ general health impacts on their ability to do their jobs. Moreover, HIV prevalence amongst this group in East Africa is higher than the national average. Due to the nature of their work, long distance bus and truck drivers spend the majority of their time in transit along the highways far away from their families. This absence from their families often leads to high risk sexual behaviour, transactional sex and multiple sexual partners along major towns and stopover points. It is thus also important to offer counselling and testing services to these communities.

Scania are hoping to reach 9500 drivers, spectators and community members with information on HIV and non-communicable diseases and opportunities for testing during the course of the competition. Testing will also be provided during the regional heats of the competition scheduled for July and August, with the finals to be held in October in Nairobi.

Botswana 

Atlas Copco and Scania Botswana, working in partnership with UNITRANS, the Department of Road Transportation and Safety, Botswana Police, the Ministry of Health and other local actors ran a two-day programme on “Fatigue Management and Road Safety” between 27 and 28 May. The programme was conducted at the busy Mahalapye Bus Rank, 360 kilometres from Gaborone. As well as raising awareness on road safety the programme provided wellness testing for bus and truck drivers and members of the public. Over the two days 300 people including 56 school children were reached with messages on road safety and 55 people participated in the wellness tests. The event was covered in the national press and broadcast on national television.

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Wellness tests during the Botswana campaign

Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe visit Stockholm

Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe was the winner of the SWHAP Achievement Award for Most Comprehensive Programme 2015. The award was in recognition of the company’s comprehensive approach to addressing the health of employees and outstanding efforts in community outreach and mentoring suppliers and customers. As part of the prize Sandvik Zimbabwe Territory Director Ian Bagshaw and Workers Committee Chair Amos Limbani travelled to Sweden to meet with Sandvik in Stockholm and Sandviken as well as NIR and IF Metall.

From left Ian Bagshaw, Managing Director Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe, Matts Berge, HR Manager for Global Sales Sandvik AB, Amos Limbani, Workers Committee Chair Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe, Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma, Regional Coordinator SWHAP and Conny Rask, Media Relations Manager Sandvik Mining

From left Ian Bagshaw, Territory Manager Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe, Matts Berge, HR Manager for Global Sales Sandvik AB, Amos Limbani, Workers’ Committee Chair Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe, Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma, Regional Coordinator SWHAP and Conny Rask, Media Relations Manager Sandvik Mining, during a tour of Sandvik in Sandviken.

During an interactive meeting attended by members of NIR and the SWHAP team, Sandvik shared how they are addressing gender within their workplace and community. Sandvik has partnered with a local women’s shelter and gender advocacy organisation, Musasa Project, to run a workplace programme addressing the impact of social media on sexual harassment. Sandvik also donated 60 sewing machines to the organisation for use in its income generation project for survivors of gender based violence.

Additionally, Sandvik Zimbabwe highlighted how the company’s community outreach programme is enabling them to reach spouses of employees with Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) training as well as providing access to income generation projects. Sandvik Zimbabwe is also supporting youth in and out of schools to access Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), giving them a better chance of securing employment. The training includes a life skills session where age appropriate information on HIV and AIDS is shared.

The SWHAP Achievement Award was conceived in 2008 in order to encourage workplaces to strive for greater success in their programmes and to reward outstanding efforts. Read the motivations here

Ian Bagshaw and Amos Limbani, Sandvik Mining and Construction Ziimbabwe

Ian Bagshaw and Amos Limbani from Sandvik Mining and Construction Zimbabwe next to a statue of Göran Fredrik Göransson, founder of Sandvik.

Ending Malaria for Good – World Malaria Day 2016

Is it possible to end malaria in a generation?

According to a 2015 report from the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (From Aspiration to Action-What Will It Take to End Malaria) eradicating malaria by 2040 could be possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already set targets to reduce global malaria cases and deaths by at least 90% by 2030. Ending the disease globally would save approximately “11 million lives and unlock an estimated $2 trillion in economic benefits” (endmalaria2040.org).

We have seen what concerted action can achieve. Between 2000 and 2015 the global malaria mortality rate was reduced by 60% and an estimated 6.2 million lives were saved as a result of a scale- up of malaria intervention (rollbackmalaria.org). Additionally, 57 countries achieved reductions in new malaria cases of at least 75% (WHO).

Factors contributing to these successes were the expansion of effective tools to prevent and treat malaria, such as treated bed nets, diagnostic testing and antimalarial medicines. Continued investment in these areas as well as in monitoring structures and research in vaccines and insecticides is required to achieve the end of malaria. As the Global Fund reminds us that “gains remain fragile. If efforts are neglected, malaria could resurge within just one infectious season” (globalfund.org).Malaria day 3

SWHAP partners working in malaria endemic areas include malaria prevention and control initiatives within their workplace HIV and wellness programmes. These programmes are run through HIV and wellness committees with representatives from both management and employees and interventions include; distribution of treated bed nets, testing opportunities and access to treatment through workplace wellness days, environmental programmes including access to safer water, clean-up campaigns and outreach to communities. Programmes raise awareness on the links between HIV and malaria (malaria increases HIV viral load) and on the gender dynamics of malaria. Gender norms that affect the division of labour and sleeping arrangements can lead to different patterns of exposure to mosquitoes for men and women. There are also gender disparities in the accessing and use of malaria interventions.

On 25 April SWHAP partners joined the global community in commemorating World Malaria Day through events to mobilise against malaria. In Zambia, Scania Hazida provided testing for employees and family members. After an awareness session on malaria the company distributed malaria prevention kits. In Kenya, employees at Shreeji Chemicals did their bit to keep malaria in the conversation. Peer Educators organised a malaria awareness raising session for employees during their lunch break. Information was shared on the prevention strategies for malaria and how to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease. Peer Educators at Raffia Bags in Kenya sprayed the environment around their offices to protect against malaria.

Spraying to prevent malaria at Raffia Bags in Kenya

Spraying to prevent malaria at Raffia Bags in Kenya

Raising awareness at Shreeji Chemcals in Kenya

Raising awareness at Shreeji Chemcals in Kenya

Providing opportunities for malaria testing for families at Scania Hazida in Zambia

Providing opportunities for malaria testing for families at Scania Hazida in Zambia

Malaria Key Facts

  • In 2015, there were 214 million cases, and 438 000 deaths from Malaria
  • 2 billion(almost half of the world population) are at risk
  • In 2015, 97 countrieshad on-going malaria transmission
  • US$ 5.1 billion is needed every year, double the funding available

Source rollbackmalaria.org

Read more about malaria and gender

http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/files/files/about/SDGs/RBM_Gender_Fact_Sheet_170915.pdf