A visiting trade unionist has urged African governments to effectively tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic in their countries.
African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah said the pandemic may pose a serious threat to industrial productivity in the region if left unchecked.
Mr. Adu-Amankwah said this in Lusaka today when he officially opened a three day joint Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and ITUC-Lo Norway HIV/AIDS project workshop.
He implored labour experts and other stakeholders to renew their vigour in fighting the pandemic by re-evaluating HIV/AIDS policies in workplaces.
Mr. Adu-Amankwah further advised trade unions to also make their HIV/AIDS workplace policies in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendations regarding the pandemic in order to make the programme sustainable.
And speaking at the same function, Lo – Norway Africa Regional Consultant Alice Gondwe –Siame said trade unions have an important role to play in enhancing HIV/AIDS workplace policies.
Mrs. Siame has since called on trade unions to consider strengthening the capacity of occupational and health committees so as to adequately address weaknesses in the policies.
She said there should be joint development of HIV/AIDS workplace policies between union leaders and workers if the strategies are to be appreciated and relevant to fighting the pandemic.
Earlier, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Trustee Sifuniso Nyumbu appealed to the Ministry of Health to consider incorporating the union in its HIV/AIDS programmes.
Mr. Nyumbu said the fight against the pandemic needed a multi-sectoral response as it affects various sectors of the economy.
The three day workshop has drawn participation from the host Zambia and all other ITUC member countries.