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SERVIR. 1995 Sep-Oct; 43(5):270-2.A seminar of the International Labor Organization (ILO) was held to shed light on the role of AIDS in decimating qualified professionals in Anglophone Africa. The estimates of the World Health Organization indicate that the number of people infected with HIV in the whole world was 13-15 million persons at the end of 1994, of which 8 million lived in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda it is calculated that 1.5 million people are carriers of HIV, and by 1998 this figure could increase to 1.9 million. In both Zambia and Zimbabwe, in the 20-39 year age group, AIDS cases amount to 70% and 74%, respectively. Studies carried out in Rwanda, Zaire, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe revealed that AIDS is most frequent among members of the higher socioeconomic classes. The inability to find replacements for jobs requiring higher qualifications will result in dire consequences for these economies. During the 6-year period between 1988-89 and 1993-94 the Uganda Commercial Bank registered 229 deaths due to AIDS among its 1600 employees (14%). AIDS also requires the expenditure of scarce health resources on treatment: in 1992, hospital occupancy for diseases associated with AIDS reached 40-60% in Kinshasa, Zaire; 50% in Lusaka, Zambia; 60% in Kigali, Rwanda; and 70% in Bujumbura, Burundi. Various programs have been launched to fight HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Uganda, to sensitize and educate people about the epidemic. The protection of human rights, the avoidance of discrimination, and the adoption of safe sex techniques are promoted by these programs. Companies have programs to combat AIDS. Ubombo Ranches Ltd. in Swaziland started an information program in 1991 and distributed free condoms. BAT Uganda Ltd. also started an information and training-of-trainers program in 1989, which by 1994 had benefitted about 90% of the employees. This has resulted in the reduction of AIDS cases and associated medical costs.
WORLD OF WORK. 1995 May-Jun; (12):32-3.Representatives of English speaking African countries attended the International Labor Organization Tripartite Workshop on the Role of the Organized Sector in Reproductive Health and the Prevention of AIDS held in Uganda. AIDS has robbed these countries of lawyers, physicians, teachers, managers, and other skilled professionals, all of whom are difficult to replace. HIV/AIDS mainly affects persons in their most productive years (20-40 years) and in the higher socioeconomic groups. Professionals with AIDS become ill and die at a faster rate than their replacements can be trained. The young, less experienced work force translates into an increase in breakdowns, accidents, delays, and misjudgments. International and national efforts to control HIV/AIDS have not stopped the spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). More than 8 million persons in SSA are HIV infected. 1.5 million in Uganda are HIV infected. As of October 1994, 30,000 persons in Zambia and 33,000 in Zimbabwe had AIDS. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg due to underreporting. HIV/AIDS increases absenteeism among infected and healthy workers alike. It burdens the already existing scarce health care resources and equipment (e.g., in 1992, AIDS cases occupied 70% of hospital beds in Kigali, Rwanda). Unions, workers, and families must share knowledge about safer sex. The Zimbabwe Confederation of Trade Unions has had an HIV/AIDS education program since 1992. The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions strongly supports government efforts to sensitize the labor force and society to the effects of HIV/AIDS. The Federation of Uganda Employers has reached about 150,000 workers and more than 200 top executives through its AIDS prevention activities. Some company programs provide medical facilities for employees and their families. The Ubombo Ranches, Ltd. in Swaziland, a producer and processor of sugar cane, has a training-of-trainers program on HIV/AIDS and family planning for all village health workers and village headmen.