A local security company, Security Unlimited, received the ‘Workplace Initiative Project’ honour for their outstanding performance in focusing on HIV prevention among men.
The project is offered by Jhpiego, and focuses on offering HIV prevention health services for men at the workplace.
During the handing over ceremony held at Jhapiego’s offices in Maseru on Monday this week, Jhpiego Programme Officer, Motselisi Molorane, indicated that Security Unlimited staged outstanding performance in allowing its employees access to men’s health services in 2018.
“The company made it easy for Jhpiego to visit, in order to deliver health talk to the employees, coupled with letting them access health services during working hours. This included allowing them to go to mobile clinics and health centres, or providing sick leave when necessary. They did not complain about lost time. Instead they said everything was ok as long as their employees accessed health services. We appreciate their dedication,” Molorane said.
Security Unlimited Managing Director, Hennie Botes, said working with healthy employees is beneficial to his company, as sick people are not productive because they are bound to skip work, a factor that will result in the loss of profits for the company, while the family of the same individuals will lose income.
”As a security company we train our own staff with costs. So losing a person over sickness whereas I could have made sure they received health care services, will cost the company a lot because we will need to train another person. With the support from Jhpiego, the employee and their family as well as the company all benefit. We are also looking forward to further discussions with Jhpiego on how to further improve the provision of services for our employees,” Botes indicated.
According to Jhpiego Country Director, Aleshia Rosario, some of the key beneficiaries of HIV prevention programs, older working women and men do not have time to access health services.
“They include factory, security and other private company workers. So it is very difficult for them to find time to access these comprehensive health services that they need, because of the fear of missing work time and wages. We are trying to the extent possible to meet with individual companies, talk to them about opportunities that Jhpiego can bring closer to them or arrange for services at their convenient times,” Botes said.
“The experience that we got with security unlimited gave us confidence that this is something that can really work with commitment from leadership and management”, she added.
According to Jhpiego Program Manager, Jennifer Bera, Jhpiego started with Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) services in Lesotho, and to date they have been able to reach over 200,000 men and boys.
“It is always challenging reaching those men that are above 18 at the workplace where they have full time jobs and do not always have the support from their employers to take sick leave or just have that coordination to allow them to really receive life -saving services,” Bera said, also thanking Security Unlimited for its support.
The Workplace Initiative Project kick-started in 2018 and a number of private companies are taking part in it. The project targets older men working full time jobs who also do not have time to access health services.
Jhpiego is working with many more companies in this initiative, and plans to incorporate more private companies and male civil servants into the project.