Barrick Lumwana Mine General Manager, Bill Macnevin, says his company will remain committed and resolute to the fight against HIV/AIDS because it has an impact on productivity.
Mr Macnevin says the mining company takes interest in participating in the fight against HIV to ensure zero occurrences of negative practices in surrounding communities.
He says his company will work towards a well-coordinated HIV response through building a vibrant Lumwana AIDs taskforce as a sustainable vehicle for effective delivery of community HIV/AIDS interventions.
Mr Macnevin says Barrick Lumwana will also engage key players to increase access to comprehensive ART services and identification of prevention strategies that have been proved to reduce HIV infections.
He said this in a speech read for him by medical services director, David Muchila, during commemorations to mark world AIDS day for Kayonge community in Chief Mumena’s area under the theme “Getting to Zero in Zambia: zero new infections, zero deaths, zero stigma and discrimination”.
Mr Macnevin also said with its support Lumwana community AIDs taskforce managed to counsel and test 3,689 clients and distributed 25,495 condoms in the fourth quarter.
And speaking when he officiated at the occasion, Solwezi district Commissioner, Crispin Likando commended Barrick Lumwana for involving communities in the fight against HIV by organizing Zonal commemorations.
Mr Likando also commended the mining company for establishing an ART centre at Meheba A and Lumwana East Rural Health centres which have greatly reduced distances that people had to cover to access the service from Solwezi General Hospital.
He said the continued support to the community welfare will increase production at the mine as there will be reduced absenteeism by workers.