Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Companies sign on to support national HIV plan

Seventy-two Myanmar-based companies have so far pledged to implement Myanmar‘s National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS but more need to commit to tackle the country’s epidemic, an official from the Myanmar Business Coalition on AIDS said last week.

MBCA executive director Dr Khin Aye Aye said some company joined up to the Myanmar Business Community Program on AIDS at its launch in May, while others have signed on more recently.

By signing the charter, the businesses commit to creating stigma and discrimination-free workplaces through a non-discriminatory human resource policy and also setting an example for others by implementing discrimination-free workplace policies.

Signatories to the community business charter include airlines, shopping centres and a private medical centre.

“The Myanmar National Strategy on AIDS clearly called for businesses and the private sector to actively participate in the national response. We confirm our support to the strategy as part of our corporate social responsibility,” Dr Khin Aye Aye said.

“I would like to see 720 companies instead of 72 [sign the charter] because the number of registered companies in Myanmar is more than 30,000. Most local companies like to do social activities but they are not used to corporate social responsibility,” she said.

The Myanmar Business Community Program on AIDS was established by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry on May 14 to encourage the private sector to help fight HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

Signatories are required to disseminate HIV-related information to staff, improve their awareness of HIV prevention methods and inform them about where they can get prevention, testing, counselling and treatment services.

They are also supposed to encourage HIV community work where possible in partnership with government departments, NGOs and self-help groups.

This program has been established with the endorsement of the Ministry of Health and financial and technical support from UNAIDS – the joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS – and MBCA.