National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) Limited on Friday launched an HIV and Aids Workplace Policy aimed at ensuring a consistent and equitable approach to prevention and management of HIV and Aids at the organisation.
Speaking during the launch of the policy at Lilongwe Golf Club, Nocma board chairperson George Mkondiwa, who is also Chief Secretary to the Government, said healthy and energetic employees are vital for achieving ambitious objectives for any organisation.
“Physical, financial and any other resources one can think of are without much value in the absence of a skilled, motivated, committed, healthy and energetic workforce.
“Looking at the enormous responsibility of Nocma in contributing to national development, the need for a healthy and energetic workforce can never be over emphasised,” he said.
Mkondiwa said the launch of the HIV and Aids workplace policy by Nocma would complement government’s efforts in the fight against HIV and Aids.
He said: “In 2007, it was generally accepted that HIV and Aids was a national pandemic that was claiming human lives at an alarming rate, thereby leading to a decline in the productivity of the country. The decline in the country’s productivity adversely affected the performance of the national economy.”
Mkondiwa said it is for this reason that government through National Aids Commission (NAC) called for concerted efforts by organisations to develop policies and programmes on HIV and Aids to mitigate its impact.
In his remarks, Nocma chief executive officer Robert Mdeza said the fight against HIV and Aids has been a long and painful one.
“Almost all of us have been affected by HIV and Aids. It is with great relief to see that Malawi has made significant achievements in taming the [disease] and slowing down its spread.Today, we have life-prolonging drugs, reduced stigma and a unified approach to finding solutions to this challenge,” he said.
Mdeza also said it is against this background that his organisation embarked on the drafting of the first Nocma HIV and Aids Workplace Policy. n