Standard Bank Malawi and conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) yesterday were among private sector players who joined the international community in commemorating World Aids Day which falls on December 1.
In Blantyre, PCL marked the day with a call for commitment of substantial resources and change of testing and treatment ways delivered in the country if Malawi is to attain the 90-90-90 global target.
The 90:90:90 strategy seeks to ensure that 90 percent of the population gets tested to know their status, 90 percent of those living with HIV and Aids access anti-retroviral therapy and that 90 percent of those on ART do not default. The campaign seeks to achieve this by 2030.
In his address during the PCL event, Christopher Guta, general manager of Presscane Limited, a subsidiary of PCL, said the funding required to achieve the global targets will peak at $19.3 billion in 2017, declining to $18 billion a year by 2020. Donor contributions for HIV actually fell in 2015 by $600 million.
He said beyond the PCL Clinic, the group is in the process of creating and inculcating a holistic approach to risk management by adopting evidence-based tools for enterprise risk management.
On their part, Standard Bank employees commemorated the day by forming a big red ribbon and lighting candles outside their head office in Lilongwe as a show of solidarity and commitment to fight against the pandemic.
Standard Bank head of marketing and communications Thoko Unyolo said the activities were part of the bank’s comprehensive action in the fight against HIV and Aids as well as other pandemics such as tuberculosis and malaria.
She said: “This is the first solidarity display of its kind by Standard Bank in Malawi. We are doing this because we are more than a bank and our people are more than bankers who are committed personally to put in more in the fight against Aids.”
Unyolo said the comprehensive action on mitigating effects of pandemics has seen Standard Bank signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global Fund for Aids, TB and malaria interventions.
The Standard Bank partnership is operational in 20 countries, including Malawi, where Standard Bank group has operations in Africa. It covers three broad areas of monetary contribution, employee engagement and consumer finance initiative. n