Friday, November 27, 2015
Voluntary HIV testing campaign for staff launched
As part of commemorating the World Aids week, the Geita Gold Mine (GGM) has organised a voluntary HIV testing campaign for its employees. The two weeks campaign targets 3500 staff including employees and contractors, and is expected to have positive response by up to 80 per cent. Speaking to reporters on Thursday this week in Dar es Salaam, GGM Managing Director Terry Mulpeter said; “positive social and economic development is the result of a healthy community.” “GGM believes that proper investment in employees’ health will result in a healthy workforce and optimize productivity and business performance,” he said. He said GGM has invited a total of 10 HIV trained counselors from government and private hospitals to conduct the programme at the mine site effective December 1. “With such initiatives, the trend of HIV decreased from 9.4% in 2004 to 1.4 per cent 2014 as a result of strategic HIV awareness and voluntary counseling and testing campaigns at the mine,” he noted. “HIV/AIDS not only causes illness and death but also causes severe economic and emotional disruption for the individual and families. With that in mind, the intervention on HIV/AIDs in the workplace is very essential for both employer and employees,” he added. GGM provides further support to the Geita Community through an established VCT centre which serves the surrounding communities as well as through Kilimanjaro Challenge Fund that funds the Kili Challenge. In the annual event, GGM working with TACAIDS and other stakeholders raises funds and awareness through climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro between June and July every year and the funds are distributed to different organisations involved in the national response to HIV and AIDS including TACAIDS, Benjamin Mkapa HIV Foundation, Geita Hospital and Moyo wa Huruma Orphanage, NGOs and others.