WBCG is the prime driver of self-sustaining HIV and AIDS/Wellness Workplace Programmes in the Namibian transport sector and across the SADC region”
“To continually be committed to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS within the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) member companies and the broader transport sector by facilitating the development and implementation of comprehensive sustainable workplace HIV and AIDS/Wellness programmes”
• Service – We serve and support our members through professional, effective, efficient and relevant health services to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
• Compassion – We believe that Wellness, including HIV/AIDS is part of the human condition, in which we all participate in our own unique ways. Through compassion, we lay the cornerstone of hope.
• Respect – We believe in the value, worth and dignity of all as stipulated in the WBCG Group Workplace Policy which underline non-discriminatory services at the workplace.
• Inclusion – We welcome and accept all our members and relevant stakeholders being part of this initiative.
• Partnership – We cooperate with other service providers and stakeholders who also provide support and care services to the companies and communities we serve.
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group consists of transporters, clearing and freight forwarders as well as other logistics service providers. Through its broad membership it offers a platform that facilitates and supports the fight against HIV/AIDS and the provision of general wellness interventions along its corridors. By doing so it reaches a wide, traditionally and generally perceived high HIV and AIDS key affected audience within the transport sector of Namibia.
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group’s main organizational strength has always been its unique public - private partnerships (PPP) that was set up of transport and logistics stakeholders from both the public and private sector. This partnership allows for the pooling of resources, expertise and authorities from both the regulators and the operators, who together form an integrated transport and logistics service for all road users.
Through this project, the WBCG offers an ideal structure to address HIV/AIDS in a comprehensive, yet cost-effective manner by combining efforts and sharing resources. By implementing HIV/AIDS Workplace and Corridor based interventions in Namibia, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group contributes vigorously to the goals and outcomes as outlined in the National Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS Response in Namibia (2010/11-2015/16) and it demonstrates “a multi-sectorial approach” led by the HIV and AIDS/Wellness – Strategy for the Public Works & Transport Sector 2013 -2015/6 in action. During the next five years (2013-2017) the WBCG intends to expand on its current products and services by reaching out to more transport workers with sustainable and effective HIV/AIDS and general wellness related interventions, as well as capacitating its members to provide some HIV/AIDS and wellness response services to its employees. Since the WBCG HIV/AIDS Help Desk was first launched in 2005, the project mainly focused on building capacity, providing information and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS at the workplace level in the transport sector. Gradually and through the support from key stakeholders the WBCG has grown significantly in terms of its market visibility and footprint, not only in Namibia but within the entire SADC region as well. The key partners of the WBCG HIV/AIDS and Wellness activities over the past few years are:
• Ministry of Health and Social Services;
• Ministry of Works and Transport;
• Development partners amongst others;
Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA);
Corridor Empowerment Project (CEP);
Society for Family Health (SFH);
United States Agency for International Development (USAID);
US Embassy Public Affairs Division;
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and
North Star Alliance (NSA).
Through this initiative, the WBCG has reached over 4000 transport workers between 2011 and 2012 with HIV Counseling and Testing and other wellness screening services with a reported estimated HIV positivity rate of around 15% in 2012 for transport workers. The 15% rate is slightly lower than the national positivity rate of 18,2% as per the 2012 sentinel survey results. The continuation of the mixed model approach will not only provide evidence in terms of the impact but it will also allow the the WBCG to expand its current activities and provide more efficient, effective and sustainable health services within the transport sector.
• The WBCG intends to combine the following evidence based interventions through the combination of cost-effective and high impact prevention measures. These include but are not limited to:
Establishment of roadside wellness centres
Peer education trainings
Scaling up of HCT and condom distribution; HIV testing links people to treatment and support programs, particularly in areas where a large number of people remain undiagnosed. Linkage to care helps to ensure people living with HIV receive life-saving medical care, treatment and support and helps to reduce their risk of transmitting HIV
Focusing on hot spots through the creation of linkages to existing health facilities and activities, e.g. state clinics, small group interventions at individual and community level for those who are at high risk (mobile populations such as long distance truck drivers, sex workers, sea farers etc.)
Promotion of male circumcision as a biomedical measure to reduce risk of infection amongst truck drivers
Promotion of substance abuse treatment-programs at workplace levels
Development of target specific Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials and Social Behaviour Change and Communication (SBCC) interventions
The WBCG believes in the principles of smart partnerships and we shall continue to improve and optimize our relationships with all our key stakeholders in order to realise our goal of mitigating and reducing the impact of HIV and AIDS within the transport sector to below 7% by 2017.