LONDON, January 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —
Anglo American’s Chief Executive joined world business leaders in Davos today to launch the Business Leadership Council Generation Born HIV Free. The private sector-led initiative aims to end the transmission of HIV from mothers to children by the end of 2015 but calls on the collaboration and support of the private sector, government and civil society.
Cynthia Carroll said: “I am delighted that Anglo American is participating in the Business Leadership Council initiative, launched today in Davos. With approximately 95% of our operations in developing countries, Anglo American has a deep appreciation of the vital role health plays in ensuring human development and promoting economic growth. We have many years’ experience in seeking to overcome the burden of HIV/AIDS, particularly in South Africa, and we are confident that we will be able to make a significant contribution to this coordinated effort.”
“It is truly unconscionable that out of the roughly 1.4 million global HIV-positive pregnancies each year, we still see some 390,000 new child infections. That’s 28% – not much better than if we did nothing at all. We would not tolerate such poor performance in business and there is no earthly reason why mothers should tolerate such a burden of disease in their newborn babies. I am excited to see everyone here joining in our determination to achieve the goal of an HIV free generation,” Mrs Carroll said.
The Business Leadership Council is part of the broader United Nations Millennium Development Goals Health Alliance, designed to harness the collective weight of the private sector to tackle global health challenges. Anglo American’s participation builds on its global leadership in HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, care and support and improving health care systems more generally in countries where there is the greatest need.
Anglo American strongly believes that a collective and innovative response is required from business, government and civil society in order to have a meaningful impact on improving healthcare in developing countries. In June 2011, Anglo American pledged $3 million to the UK Government led matching initiative for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) – a public/private partnership dramatically increasing access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries. At the G20 Business Summit in Seoul in November 2010, Anglo American announced a $3 million pledge over three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund).
“Notwithstanding the remarkable achievements of innovative health partnerships, there is a lot more work to do and funding shortfalls remain, particularly as the economic environment presents its challenges. We urge the private sector, in particular, to recognise the importance of investing in health in developing countries; there are significant long-term business benefits in terms of economic growth and development. For Anglo American, improving access to healthcare is an important part of our sustainable development programme, which aims to make a real and lasting difference in the communities where our mines operate,” Mrs Carroll added.
Further information about Anglo American’s health programmes
In 2002, Anglo American was the first major employer to begin offering free antiretroviral treatment to all its employees and, in December 2008, Anglo American extended this benefit to employees’ direct dependants. This decision was based largely on the understanding that HIV/AIDS cannot be effectively managed when only one family member receives care for a disease that affects the whole family.
Anglo American’s world-leading HIV/AIDS response, providing the largest free HIV and AIDS workplace and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programme, has been held up as best practice by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Anglo American’s 2009 international employee HIV/AIDS campaign detailed the company’s response in the areas of eliminating the stigma and discrimination related to the disease. The programme also focuses on preventing new infections, the provision of care and confidential support for employees and their dependants infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and managing and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on operations. In so doing, Anglo American is making a positive contribution towards minimising the social, economic and developmental consequences of the epidemic.
Workplace programmes are in place at all Group operations and business units, with activity particularly focused in southern Africa, where HIV prevalence figures are estimated at 18% of the region’s workforce.
In 2011, Anglo American co-sponsored the Frontline Heroes in Health award with Virgin Unite which was presented at GBC Health’s 10th Anniversary Conference and Awards. The award recognises leadership in community healthcare and was presented to Kgomotso Kwenje and Dr Gilbert Khosa who co-manage the Bhubezi Community Health Centre in South Africa.
Bhubezi Community Health Centre, located in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, in South Africa, is the result of collaboration between the community, government and business. Supported by USAID / PEPFAR (the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), the South African Department of Health, Ndlovu Care Group, Anglo American and Virgin Unite, Bhubezi Community Health Centre is the first to offer basic and specialised healthcare in the region. Since its establishment in 2007 it has received more than 130,000 patients and provided more than 3,500 HIV positive patients with anti-retroviral treatment.
Anglo American’s recent progress was rewarded by the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the organisation’s Business Excellence Awards in June 2009, where the company’s Thermal Coal business was recognised as having the best HIV/AIDS workplace programme in the world.
The GBC Awards are earned by companies that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment, action and results, and have achieved exceptional success in putting their assets to work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Anglo American’s Thermal Coal business received the top award in the ‘Workplace Category’ for its holistic approach to HIV/AIDS and was commended by the judges for “its comprehensive, robust and evidence-based approach to managing HIV and AIDS in the workplace; coupled with the outstanding leadership and commitment of the company’s management and leadership team.”
Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases is one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and 2010 represents an important milestone in the progress of this initiative.
Further information about The Business Leadership Council – Generation Born HIV Free
The Business Leadership Council for a Generation Born HIV Free is a bold, private-sector led initiative with one goal: to end the transmission of HIV from mothers to children by 2015. BLC members are a select group of leaders who represent media, finance, telecommunications, health, technology and retail. The BLC is committed to treating 2015 as a deadline, not a goal and bringing business acumen and resources to the challenge.
The BLC is part of the broader MDG Health Alliance that MDG Advocate and UN Special Envoy for Malaria Ray Chambers has convened to bring to bear the collective weight of the private sector across all Health Millennium Development Goals. http://for-a-generation-born-hiv-free.org/stakeholders/
Notes to editors:
Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies, is headquartered in the UK and listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Anglo American’s portfolio of mining businesses spans bulk commodities – iron ore and manganese, metallurgical coal and thermal coal; base metals – copper and nickel; and precious metals and minerals – in which it is a global leader in both platinum and diamonds. Anglo American is committed to the highest standards of safety and responsibility across all its businesses and geographies and to making a sustainable difference in the development of the communities around its operations. The company’s mining operations, extensive pipeline of growth projects and exploration activities span southern Africa, South America, Australia, North America, Asia and Europe. http://www.angloamerican.com
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SOURCE Anglo American Plc