HIV/AIDS STATUS AT WORKPLACE
TANZANIA GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:
Tanzania is located at the Eastern part of the African continent. It is the United Republic of the Tanzanian mainland and island of Zanzibar. It is bordered by Indian Ocean to the East, Kenya and Uganda to the Northern part. On the western side, it is boarded by Rwanda, Burundi and The Republic of Congo. Zambia and Malawi are to the southern part of Tanzania. Currently the country is estimated to have a population of about 36 million.
The country has also an advantage of having the highest mountain in Africa which is the Kilimanjaro Mountain found on the northern part of the country and the deepest lake in Africa, the lake Tanganyika, found on the western part of Africa.
TANZANIA HIV/AIDS STATUS
The first cases of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania were reported in 1983, although for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole the problem began to surface in the late 1970s. The epidemic has evolved from being rare and new disease to a common household problem, which has affected most Tanzania families. The development of the HIV/AIDS epidemic have its clear impact on all sectors of development though not only pressure on AIDS cases, care and management of resources, but also through depletion of economically active population especially young women and men.
HIV infection is unevenly distributed across geographic area, gender, age, groups and social economic classes in the country. The percentage of the population infected by HIV ranges from less than three percent across most of the country to more than 44.4 percent in certain sub populations. The epidemic has struck more the most economically active group of adults, those aged 15-45.
Tanzania has a total population of about 36 million people [2002 Tanzania Household Census general report -estimates for 2006] and a Gross National Product per capita of US$ 280; Tanzania is among the poorest countries in the world. HIV prevalence is far higher in the mainland than on the island territory of Zanzibar, which has about 1 million inhabitants and a prevalence rate estimated at 0.6% in 2002.
Since the first AIDS cases were discovered in Tanzania in 1983, HIV prevalence has been on the increase. According to the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) reports, the rates have been increasing from 1.3% (1985), 7.2% (1990), 9.6% (2002), 8.7% (2004) and 7.0.
Current status of HIV and AIDS in Tanzania.
According to the data from Tanzania HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey, the national prevalence among the sexually active populations (between 15 and 49 years of age) is reported to be 7. 0 %. The data shows more women (7.7 %) are infected than men (6.3%).
The estimated number of people living with HIV and AIDS is 1.3 million. The overall national figurers show stabilizing figurers and some slight decrease in prevalence rate for last five years.
Drivers of the epidemic in TANZANIA
Promiscuous sexual behavior
1. Interrogational sex
2. Concurrent sexual partners
3. Presence of other sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex.
4. Lack of knowledge of HIV transmission
General population HIV Prevalence
7% of adults aged 15-49 are infected with HIV (women 8% and men 6%).
HIV +ve is higher at age 30 -34 (12.9%) for women and at age 40 - 44 (12.3%) for men:
For rural: HIV prevalence is 5.3% - (4.8% for men and 5.8% for women·
For Urban: HIV prevalence is 10.9% - (9.6% for men and 12% for women)
Over 99% of Tanzanians aged 15-49 have heard of HIV/AIDS90% of adults know that having only one uninfected, faithful partner can reduce the chances of getting AIDS4 in 5 adults know that a healthy-looking person may be HIV+
HIV/AIDS IN WORKPLACE
CASE STUDY: TANGA CITY COUNCIL
Tanga city is found in Tanga region situated at the northern part of Tanzania. It is bounded to the east by the Indian Ocean and to north by Mombasa which is in Kenya. Tanga city has the population of about 242,640 (Source: Population and Housing Census of 2002) from which 119,621(49.3%) are male and 123,019 (37.5%) are female. The rate of growth is 1.9% per year. Tanga city being the major urban centre of the Region is most heavily settled amongst the 9th district with an average population density of 451 persons per square mile.
Since the first AIDS cases were discovered in Tanzania in 1983, HIV prevalence has been on the increase in Tanga City. According to the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) reports, the rates have been increasing from 2.5% (1985), 4% (1990), 4.7% (2002], 5% (2004) and 7% .
IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS IN TANGA CITY COUNCIL
HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the most significant challenges of the facing Tanga City Council. Its impact causes a wide spread suffering among individuals, families and communities across the Tanga City. The majority of the people infected with HIV/AIDS are the economically active population which equates to the Tanga’s workforce. The result is both skilled and unskilled manpower is steadily declining, this includes;
· High rate of absenteeism at the workplace
· Reduced physical capacity of the employee
· Extra workload for others, Emotional stress
· Increased health and welfare cost
· High staff turnover
· Loss of skills and experience.
These factors have negative consequences for the long term survival of the organization. Therefore there is a need to care for the infected employees and create work environment in which they can remain productive for as long as possible.
The long time survival depends on the proactive role of city which adopts not only the prevention of the infection but also treatment to those already infected. The city develops the infrastructure to implement comprehensive strategies and plans to fight against the impact of HIV and AIDS to the workforce.
In order to curb this situation The Honorable Mayor of Tanga City Council has formed the HIV/AIDS committee chaired by the Deputy Mayor. The committee comprises of Councilors, employees of Tanga City Council and selected members from the community.
The councilors in their respective wards chair the ward HIV/AIDS committees which comprises of the councilor of the respective ward, Ward Executive officer, Extension officers and some selected members from the community.
ABIDING THE “ILO” CODE ON HIV AND AIDS
The code of practice states that;
“in order to eliminate workplace discrimination and promote workplace action, governments in consultation with social partners should provide relevant regulatory framework and where necessary, revise labor law and other legislation to improve action against HIV and AIDS”.
HIV/AIDS WORKPLACE POLICY IN TANGA CITY COUNCIL
A workplace policy is the statement of intent and framework for action
The statement establishes the following key principles to Tanga City Council;
· Voluntary blood screening and result confidentiality.
· Foster a nurturing environment which enhances staff morale
· Lessen stigma and discrimination hence encourage disclosure of HIV status by individuals.
· Foster greater recognition to the needs of individual staff members.
A program has also been formed in order to address the HIV/AIDS problem from the grassroots;
· Vilaage/Mitaa has Village HIV/AIDS committees to address the problem at village level and report to the ward. Currently the city has 23 registered villages.
· The wards HIV/AIDS committees address the problem at ward level taking into consideration the reports from the villages or Mitaa. This also reports to the City council. The city has 24 wards.
· The Tanga City Council HIV/AIDS committee addresses the problem at council level taking consideration of the wards reports. This committee report to the Honorable Mayor.
A workplace program is needed to implement a workplace policy, coordinate and monitor implementation of the policy and development of the agreed work plan that sets target and dates.
THE GOVERNMENT POLICY ON HIV/AIDS
The government of Tanzania recognizes the impact of HIV and AIDS on the workforce and the importance of intervention activities that focus on the workforce. HIV and AIDS mainstreaming has been featured as one of the goals of the Multi-Sectoral Strategy Frame work (NMSF and MKUKUTA). All sectors including private sectors, institutions, and organizations of development partners have been called upon to make HIV and AIDS concerns their “business”. This entails analyzing what HIV and AIDS does to its performance and how the sector itself contributes directly or indirectly to the dynamic of the epidemic.