JIS News

Health Minister, John Junor, announced today (March 16) that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GTFAM), has approved a grant of some US$15 million for phase two of the National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme.
The allocation was made after a recent assessment of the progress made under the five-year programme, which started in 2004, and is designed to assist the country’s efforts to stem the spread of the disease.Minister Junor made the announcement as he addressed the launch of the Jamaica Employers Federation’s (JEF) HIV/AIDS in the Workplace Corporate Survey at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
He informed that the launch of the survey would ensure that a workplace HIV/AIDS policy became a reality in every organization in Jamaica in the very near future. “All sectors of society have a role to play in fighting HIV/AIDS and the private sector is well placed to facilitate the process,” he noted.
He also pointed out, that the formation of National Business Council, led by the JEF and the business community, would solidify the partnership between the public and private sectors in the national AIDS strategy and complement efforts to demystify the disease and engage persons in frank discussions on the issues.
According to the Health Minister, the private sector had the direct ability to impact and eliminate discrimination associated with the disease, by developing objective workplace policies to reduce the threats pose to HIV/AIDS prevention and care strategies.
“But we are not asking the private sector to do what we have not done ourselves. The workplace policy has been introduced and is being integrated into the operations of several ministries and public sector agencies in keeping with the Jamaica HIV/AIDS/STI National Strategic Plan; the National HIV/AIDS Policy; the International Labour Organization (ILO) Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work,” the Minister said.
He informed that five ministries namely: Labour and Social Security; Industry and Tourism; Education, Youth and Culture; Local Government, Community Development and Sport; and National Security, were in the process of implementing a five-year work plan to reduce HIV transmission, to cope with people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in the workplace and to mitigate the impact.
“It is only through enforced policies enacted by the public and private sectors, that we will be able to dismantle these strongholds and create a workplace environment that guarantees persons their human rights and the opportunity to exercise their dignity,” the Health Minister stressed.

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