President Ernest Bai Koroma would today launch the Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS at the Bank Complex, Kingtom.
In a press briefing at the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat (NAS) in Freetown, the Information/Education and Communications Officer, Mohamed Kai Sandi noted that President Koroma as Chairman of the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat has underscored his government’s commitment in the fight against the disease.
The business sector, he said, employs many people especially those within the ages of 18-59 years.
He stressed that it is within this age group that the HIV/AIDS campaign is targeting and hence their objective is to work with this sector.
The Information/Education and Communications Coordinator, Abubakarr Koroma said that the mission and vision of the coalition is to respond to the growing challenges of HIV/AIDS in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for employees infected or affected by the disease.
The mission, he said, is to prevent the spread and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in the private sector as well as positioning members to contribute to the National response in their host communities.
He pointed out that the Business Coalition Against AIDS in Sierra Leone is the initiative of the National AIDS Secretariat and its partner the UNAIDS; and it goes back to 2005 when these two organizations started to advocate for the establishment of a body that would mobilize the Private Sector to utilize their strengths in meeting the challenges posed by this pandemic.
He said that the Coalition provides a platform for the private sector response to HIV/AIDS, noting that it would advocate for business action; assist companies to leverage their resources more effectively; facilitate sharing of best practices between businesses and ensure a coordinated and nationally aligned business response.
He disclosed that the coalition frowns at pre testing of HIV/AIDS as a requirement, adding that they are totally against that.
By Abibatu Kamara