African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 2, No. 3, 2002, pp. 127-135
Bioline Code: hs02054
Full paper language: English
Document type: Special Article
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2002, pp. 127-135
© Copyright 2002 - Makerere Medical School, Uganda
Corporate Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Uganda - Time for a Paradigm Shift?|
Kironde, Samson & Lukwago, John
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is likely to remain the pre-eminent global health concern for the foreseeable future. In Uganda, while significant progress has been made by the government over the past decade in bringing down the rate of new infections, the HIV/AIDS burden in the country remains huge and vigilant efforts must be continued if this burden is to further decrease.
Traditionally the government, supported by its international partners as well as local non-government organizations and the community has borne the brunt of the costs of containing the epidemic in Uganda. While the corporate sector in the country has financially contributed towards the costs of some of the interventions that are currently in place to combat the HIV epidemic, there is largely a paucity of sustained and systematic corporate leadership in providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS programmes for their employees.
A survey done by the authors of this paper reveals that most programmes undertaken in the private sector are of limited scope. We argue that there is more the corporate sector can do to more equitably share the HIV/AIDS burden, without necessarily jeopardizing its primary role - namely to maximize returns to shareholders.
This paper proposes a conceptual framework of how companies can approach the issue of HIV/AIDS within their workforce and suggests that providing more comprehensive interventions may in some instances result in substantial cost savings through the prevention or at least delay of HIV/AIDS related consequences such as: frequent absences from work, erosion of company skills and knowledge through key employee deaths, and the costs of hiring and training replacements etc. This ultimately could result in positive financial returns to those companies that choose to pursue work place led HIV/AIDS control and prevention programmes.