Will Your Company Survive The Epidemic?
There was a stage when there was a mass exodus of qualified professionals leaving South Africa to greener pastures overseas; it was threatening the African Business world. Now the true threat facing African companies is HIV/AIDS!
Only 20% of private sector companies in South Africa offer support; care and treatment for HIV infected staff members. It is predicted that by 2010 it will cost the world $23 Billion per annum to fund treatment; care and HIV prevention. Is this a cost that the African nations can afford?
Sub-Saharan Africa represents just over 10% of the world population. However over 60% of all people in Sub Sahara Africa are living with HIV! This statistic is a shocker, and over 70% of these people are working and supporting family members. In 2005 2.4 million adults and children died of AIDS. More than half of these people added value to an organisation and contributed to the growth of a company.
Although AIDS workers can be productive there is a strong stigma surrounding HIV workers. Many are not promoted due to their HIV Status, and many are being dismissed for being HIV. As a result less people getting tested for fear of losing their jobs and often they are the only bread winner for a family. Unemployed HIV sufferers battle to get medication and help from clinics proving to be an even larger burden on the state.
The largest work sectors to be hit by the HIV Epidemic are mining, metal manufacturing and transport sectors. These are infection rates are running at 35% and higher. These are large sectors in any economy and a major loss in skilled workers would be detrimental.
Companies are feeling the impact of increased absenteeism and the increase in staff turnover! This can set companies back a fair amount costing the company time and money. It has been estimated that South Africa lost R2.2 billion rand in absenteeism directly attributed towards AIDS. It would be cost effective to provide treatment and prevention campaigns. Working in conjunction with Government, large companies can lessen the absenteeism rate and they can improve their staff turnover. The President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief and the US Agency for International Development, estimated that it would cost a company R7 285 a year to successfully treat a staff member with HIV/AIDS.
Join key note speakers and partake in the first Open Space technology conference where companies can share their experiences of HIV and the impact on their companies. This is a one of a kind opportunity to be heard and to hear other solutions to this epidemic affecting our workforce. Secure your seat today and visit the website link alongside.
HIV/AIDS The Impact On Business
It has been reported on more that one occasion that ”business needs to see HIV as more than a bottom-line issue” – it’s also their social and corporate responsibility. This is the focus of the HIV/Aids 2007 Conference highlighting how important forging partnerships between Government and business are in the fight against HIV and AIDS. But still today denial continues to fuel the epidemic and far too many people still think it’s everyone else’s problem. Twenty five years after the first reports of what today is know as AIDS, the magnitude of this epidemic now demands increased accountability from all stakeholders to fulfill their commitments be it financial or political.
One of the major challenges facing South Africa and Africa at hand is to gather resources and translate knowledge and experience into HIV treatment and preventions programmes. The International Quality and Productivity Center’s 3rd Annual HIV/AIDS Conference addresses what the consequences could be if business continues to ignore these statistics – it’s time to step up to the challenge.
The programme will include keynote presentations from Zambia, Lesotho, Malawi and South Africa and based on research the agenda will include an “Imbizo” – African Village Meeting Place. This meeting place has been especially designed to give delegates the opportunity to voice their opinions and be able to find workable solutions to issues raised. Rather than only listening to papers, this revolutionary concept is completely interactive and centered around active participation.
Four skills building workshops have been included on issues such as: accessing the financial impact of HIV/AIDS through effective modeling techniques designed for top management, how to develop and apply performance management strategies, the issue of stigma in an organisation, how peer educators who perform successfully can be utilised within the organisation at higher levels.
HIV/AIDS 2007 will bring together business and government and how they respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic to share their lessons and together stake out the road ahead. In doing this, this conference directly affects the lives of those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. This is one of the main issues that will be discussed at IQPC’s 3rd HIV/AIDS Conference in January 2007 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Additional activities include the first IQPC HIV/AIDS Excellence Awards. This idea behind the award ceremony is to pay tribute to company’s who apply innovative thinking, take action and assume a leadership role in the management of HIV/AIDS. The following distinguished judges have been selected to evaluate all nominees submitted by the 15th December 2006. Brad Mears SABCOHA; David Patient and Neil Orre; Empowerment Concepts are the judges. All nominations will be evaluated in an unbiased manner. IQPC in collaboration with SABCOHA and Empowerment Concepts have outlined the following categories of excellence:
– Most outstanding Non Government Organisation
– Most outstanding Faith Based Organisation
– Most outstanding Orphan and Vulnerable Children Organisation
– Most outstanding Community
– Most outstanding Provincial Government
– Most outstanding Business and Leadership
The HIV/AIDS 2007 Conference is revolutionary in its approach. The Imbizo introduction is positive that delegates will have the opportunity to find real answers to their issues. Are organisations still dealing with issues such as social stigma, medical aid participation and the macro economics of the African market? Does media and research do enough to aid, educate and highlight the real issues facing business?
HIV/AIDS 2007 strives to achieve collective action and greater accountability among all parties and endeavors to be an African landmark opportunity to review their collective experiences with the epidemic and set an agenda for future action.
Recent successes are expected to be highlighted as well as current challenges facing executives today. Solutions to protecting HIV/AIDS employees from destigmatisation will be covered. Active participation is vital to the success of this event as everyone attending should have a voice.
This conference is the 3rd annual and the Department of Transport Employee Wellness Manager was quoted as saying at the last AIDS event: “I like their style, quality presentations, excellent speakers and delegates from a number of countries. It was quality packed with excellence and value for money”.
Should you company step up to the crisis R250 will be donated to the Tomorrow Trust fund. This fund ensures that children abandoned by the disease still have an opportunity to contribute to society. All company’s that register to find solutions to this epidemic will receive a free listing on the AIDS Conference website; as companies that are stepping up the crisis and making a difference in their workplace.