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Business community calls for greater participation in eradicating HIV/AIDS

The Botswana Business Coalition on AIDS (BBCA) has urged the business community to play a more active role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

According to a local newspaper, The Reporter, chairman Kabelo Ebineng told a meeting in the second city of Francistown that there were many opportunities for the private sector to play a key role.

A BBCA survey found that companies generally lacked HIV/AIDS policies, and awareness of government initiatives was weak.

Dr Geoffrey Tirelo of the national antiretroviral therapy programme, MASA, said it was "high time the business community realised that ... [HIV/AIDS] will negatively affect business", and stressed the need for making HIV/AIDS "a boardroom issue".

MASA had been unable to reach its goal of enrolling 55,000 patients by March 2005, partly as a result of lack of support from the business community.

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