Wilderness Safaris is proud to have been chosen as one of nine finalists in the Global Business Coalition’s Business Action on Health Awards (Workplace Engagement category) for our HIV work. Our innovative HIV/AIDS programme, formally implemented with the assistance of primary health care and HIV specialist Dr Clive Evian in 2003, has built a solid foundation over the past 9 years. Its stated aim is: “The removal of the stigma and mystery of HIV/AIDS, the creation of a safe, unprejudiced environment and the testing and treatment of all infected and affected members of the Wilderness community.”
We believe that we are succeeding in this task. In an independent and anonymous interview survey of our staff in 2010, upwards of 80% of staff knew their status and more than 60% believed that the HIV programme was beneficial. Of further encouragement is that in a Botswana specific survey, no fewer than 94% of HIV-positive employees knew their status with 88% of this group on anti-retroviral treatment. A total of 92% of HIV-positive staff in this survey believed that the workplace programme had been beneficial to their health and helped them understand HIV/AIDS and its treatment.
Another, equally important, difference made by the programme is the development of a workable HIV/AIDS programme for remote, rural southern Africa; one that is replicable in other similar situations. Our commitment to the process will also hopefully encourage others in our industry to do the same and thus widen the impact.
Wilderness is thus thrilled to be recognised by the Global Business Coalition (GBC), an exemplary NGO comprised entirely of businesses. The GBC brings the private sector’s special capabilities and drive for measurable results to the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Finalists represent exceptional programmes in each awards category, combining solid intervention design, strong commitment to achieving results and a focus on long-term sustainability. This year’s awards competition involved a record-setting number of entries and demonstrated the outstanding breadth of business engagement on global health.
All Finalists now progress to a rigorous assessment phase by GBC’s external panel of expert judges, from which one winner and one to three commended companies will be chosen.