Tanga Cement PLC (TCCL) has launched a four-day HIV/AIDS awareness campaign at Pongwe in Tanga Region, as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI).
Speaking during the launching ceremony, the company‟s Acting Managing Director, David Lee said Tanga Cement saw that there was a great need to carry out such a campaign basing on the fact that national development depends on a healthy population.
“Tanga Cement builds Tanzania, so we believe that one cannot build a nation if its larger population is sick, especially youths who are the manpower of this nation,” he said.
The director said such campaign started with their employees and their families, with the same spirit that HIV/AIDS epidemic affects a person‟s health; hence the company cannot meet its goals if a larger portion of employees will be infected.
“As it is our theme in this campaign; „Save life, do medical checkup‟, we believe that if you know your HIV status, it will help you to save yourself, your family and those who surrounds you,” he said.
Speaking about the programme implementation, TCCL Communications Officer, Ms. Mtanga Noor said they expected to attend at least 600 people from Pongwe and Kichangani villages, all being the immediate surroundings of the factory and a residential area for most of their employees
“These are our neighbors, so, their health is very important to us. Health is also part of the issues we consider in our CSI programmes, HIV/AIDS inclusive,” She said.
She said in those four days, people would be counseled and advised to be tested as more than 17m/- has been set aside for the programme.
Previously, Tanga Region HIV/AIDS coordinator, Moses Kisibo said he believed that the TCCL‟s move would assist in reducing region‟s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate which stands at 8.7%.
He said Tanga had a higher prevalence rate because of lack of education about the deadly disease.
“People here do not use condoms and the few who use them they do not do it according to experts directions, hence higher infection rate,” he added.