Caltex creates ambassadors to fight AID epidemic in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 1 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc, manufacturer and marketer of Caltex branded Lubricants in Sri Lanka, recently joined hands with the Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and Aids to train private sector employees as ambassadors to fight the AIDS epidemic in the country.

The HIV and AIDs virus is a fast spreading illness in Sri Lanka. Statistics reveal that approximately 40% of the new infections that occur take place among youth aged between 15 and 24 years.

Responding to the threat affecting the social well-being and development of the community, Caltex stepped forward to help eradicate the spread of AIDS through a major awareness campaign for over 1000 private sector employees in the country. A series of awareness building seminars will be conducted together with the Lanka Business Coalition, with the specific aim of building AIDs ambassadors on ‘Safety, Protection and Awareness’. This special private sector task force of ambassadors will be trained to campaign critical messages on HIV and AIDS to the public at large.

The seminars will be conducted by expert HIV and AIDs trainers using practical demonstrations on preventative methods and group discussions.

“Caltex is a committed corporate ambassador for HIV and AIDS in the country. Creating awareness to stop the spread of the fatal virus has been a concerted effort on our part. We have been involved in several awareness communication campaigns in the past. However this year, we felt it was a vital need to take on a more aggressive role where we promote the concept of ‘ambassadorship’ to the private sector. We strongly believe that this training mechanism will help us reach thousands of Sri Lankans across the country” commented Kishu Gomes, Managing Director and CEO of Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc.

Approximately 75% – 90% of the people infected are not aware of the infection till a very later stage, which in most cases is too late to begin treatment.

“Once you’re infected, the productivity of the individual reduces dramatically. As a result, we lose the potential human resource and contribution by that employee towards the economy. This is a significant loss considering this scenario in the context of approximately 3000 Sri Lankans being infected, with the number increasing on a yearly basis” he continued.

Caltex is an active member of the Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and AIDs (LBCH). The Coalition was established after the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICCAP) which was held in Sri Lanka in August 2007. LBCH is modelled on the Global Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS and is a member of the Asia Pacific Business Coalition on AIDS.  The goal of LBCH is to leverage the business community to make a committed response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. It also provides a platform from which policies and awareness programmes can be coordinated and executed efficiently by pooling resources and knowledge that exists within the business community.

Caltex, together with the Lanka Business Coalition will work to significantly contribute in making Sri Lanka a community united in purpose, to help eradicate the spread of HIV and AIDs.