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Contributing to the reduction of HIV/Aids

Uganda: Couples testing in homes

A couple and their child

We increasingly adopt an approach to reducing HIV/Aids that has a wider focus than just our employees. As a result of testing couples in their own homes, for example, Nile Breweries in Uganda has provided VCT for almost a quarter of employee's spouses over the last two years.

The stigma and fear associated with HIV/Aids can often make discussions with spouses and dependants extremely difficult, but disclosure is critical to ensure family members receive testing and, if necessary, treatment. In addition, research has shown high incidences of HIV among couples; married people account for about 65% of new infections.

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South Africa: Project Promote

Three workers looking at a document

The current HIV/Aids epidemic is one of the worst health crises facing us today. Although regional prevalence rates vary, South Africa has the largest number of HIV positive people in the world at approximately 5.7 million people. It has been shown that condoms are highly effective in protecting against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when issued correctly. A study done in 2004*, showed that in Africa, for every 500 condoms distributed, 1 new infection is averted.

Project Promote is a partnership between SAB Ltd, the National Department of Health (NDoH), the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids (SABCOHA) and the Society for Family Health. This project provides support to the NDoH by extending condom distribution services to non-traditional outlets. The project began when the NDoH approached SAB Ltd to become a core strategic partner in the programme.

* John Stover 2004

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India: Expanding Project Humsafar

Two men talking

Recognising the importance of educating truckers who play an important role in the supply chain, SABMiller India recently launched project ‘Humsafar’ at HBL, its award winning brewery at Sonepat. The primary focus of the programme is to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS among the truckers who are identified as a potentially vulnerable group. The programme includes the facilitation of group discussions, distribution of free awareness materials, condom demonstrations and distribution, one-on-one sessions and talk shows.

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Honduras: Establishing peer educators

Workers in a training session

In Honduras, low awareness of HIV/Aids remains a challenge. In order to ensure employees have a good understanding of HIV/Aids, Cerveceria HondureƱa launched a voluntary peer educator’s programme during 2011. As part of the programme, volunteer employees attended training sessions which improved their understanding of HIV/Aids. In total, 19 employees volunteered for the training and each individual was provided with 27 hours of training.

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Botswana: Project Tshelang

Project Tshelang launching campaign at Botswana

Over the past decade, Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) and Botswana Breweries Limited (BBL) have consistently made calls to all stakeholders to tackle HIV/Aids prejudice and remove barriers to effective treatment. This year, KBL and BBL re-launched Project Tshelang, the first initiative of its kind in Botswana when originally launched in 2001. Tshelang means “Live” or “Stay alive” and provides a consistent set of guidelines for managing employees with HIV, Aids and other chronic diseases to ensure the fair and consistent treatment and support for all KBL and BBL employees.

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Tanzania: Raising awareness on World Aids Day

A group lighting candles

In Tanzania, though progress has been made in reducing the number of people affected by HIV/Aids, levels remain high; in some areas of the country the prevalence is as high as 15%. On World Aids Day in December, Tanzania Breweries took the opportunity to organise events to raise awareness of the disease.

TBL has started a vital programme to remind its employees on the importance of taking regular tests and taking precautions against exposure to HIV infections. As part of the programme, TBL cooperates with health education counsellors from local health centres to ensure awareness of HIV/Aids such as how infections can occur and safe sex. In addition, TBL provides employees with free antiretroviral treatment as well as training on other diseases such as malaria and diabetes.

As well as employees, TBL has also established a health unit which provides care for residents in areas around the factory to raise awareness and distribute medication for HIV/Aids.

Zambia: Kicking out malaria

A group at a 'Kick Out Malaria' event

In October 2010, National Breweries in Zambia launched its first ‘Kick Out Malaria’ month across its five breweries. Malaria is endemic throughout Zambia and is a major public health problem. Latest evidence from the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that there are approximately 2.9 million cases of malaria diagnosed each year in the country. Although the overall number of cases has decreased in recent years, the WHO research shows this is not the case for children under the age of five.

The control of malaria has been identified as one of the Zambia’s main public health priorities and is a significant part of Ministry of Health’s National Health Strategic Plan. In support of this initiative, ‘Kick Out Malaria’ was officially launched by Ms Wamulume on behalf of the Zambian Ministry of Health.

Ms Wamulume said “Management should be commended for the efforts made because they have shown that their people matter even in hard economical times when many companies are struggling to meet budget”

The launch also included performances by a local cultural group called Mutende, an ensemble that performed dances and a sketch on Malaria prevention. As part of this awareness raising programme, National Breweries also provided all 679 employees insecticide treated mosquito nets investing over K30million.