Construction sector AIDS, wellness policy launched

 

THE Ministry of Works and Supply has launched its first ever HIV/AIDS and wellness policy for the construction sector aimed at addressing issues that were pertinent to the improvement of health for construction workers. Speaking during the launch of the policy at the Government Complex in Lusaka, Minister of Works and Supply Ronald Chitotela said that one of the major objectives of the policy was to present key priorities of the sector during the period 2016 to 2020. Mr Chitotela said that the policy would serve as a guide in achieving the vision of maintaining a well informed and healthy workforce to facilitate and promote infrastructure development. He explained that the policy provided specific objectives and strategies required for preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. The minister noted that the policy would also promote wellness through prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the sector. “We have launched the first ever HIV /AIDS and wellness policy for the construction sector aimed at addressing issues that are pertinent to the improvement of health for construction workers. One of the major objectives of the policy is to present key priorities of the sector during the period 2016 to 2020. The Policy provides specific objectives and strategies required for preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS and promoting wellness through prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the sector,” he said. Mr Chitotela urged all key institutions in the ministry to make use of the policy when planning and budgeting for HIV/AIDS and wellness interventions in their respective organisations. He directed newly appointed Works and Supply permanent secretary Charles Mushota to ensure that environmental and social impact assessments which he said included the measures to mitigate HIV/AIDS were enforced and that resources on all major contracts were leveraged by all contractors. Mr Chitotela further pledged to ensure that treatment, care, support and impact mitigation of HIV/AIDS and other communicable and non- communicable diseases were accessed by employees in the sector. He also directed stakeholders in the construction sector to develop frameworks for dealing with issues related to HIV/AIDS. Speaking at the same event, National AIDS Council director general Jabbin Mulwanda observed that Zambia was among African countries with a high HIV prevalence rate. Dr. Mulwanda said that Zambia was ranked 10th globally in terms of being one of the highest contributors to HIV/AIDS prevalence. He noted that the country had approximately 792,000 individuals on Anti-retroviral treatment as at June this year

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