DGs pledge to principles of mainstreaming HIV, Aids

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pretoria - Director-Generals from almost ten government departments have signed a pledge committing to the eight principles of mainstreaming HIV and Aids in the public service.

The pledge was signed on Thursday during the launch of a Public Service HIV Testing and Counselling (HCT) Intensification Campaign, which aims at improving the morale of public servants and also offers improved management of support services to employees in need of HIV and TB treatment, care and support.

The DGs committed to the eight principles of gender sensitive, rights based mainstreaming of HIV and Aids, STI and TB into public service and public administration to ensure that they are implemented through their departmental operational plans.

The eight principles are as follows:

* Provision leadership: Committing to provide leadership and to be a champion in gender sensitive, rights based HIV and Aids mainstreaming;
* Service delivery environment free of stigma and discrimination: Committing to working and service delivery environment free of stigma and discrimination;
* A safe and healthy world of work: Committing to a safe and healthy work;
* Rights-based and gender sensitive programming: Committing to rights-based and gender sensitive programming;
* Review and use the review report: Conduct and use the review report in operational, strategic planning and in negotiations of a service delivery agreement;
* Allocation of resources: Ensure allocation of resources for implementation of a gender sensitive, rights-based HIV and Aids Mainstreamed Operational Plan;
* Monitoring and evaluation: Ensure monitoring and evaluation for implementation of a gender sensitive, rights-based HIV and Aids mainstreaming programme and projects; and
* Improving governance of HIV and Aids: Committing to improve governance of HIV and Aids response at cluster and Forum of South African Directors Generals (FOSAD) level.

Director-General of DPSA, Mashwahle Diphofa, who came up with the eight principles said that the launch of the guidelines is to assist employees through the intensification of HIV and Aids.

"The public sector is the largest employer with nearly 1.3 million employees and has a crucial role to play in mitigating HIV and Aids and TB. With these principles, HIV and Aids will be managed as a developmental issue because one of the constraints in its management in the public service is the issue of governance and we are trying to correct the situation," said Diphofa.

He added that the principles will see the departments coming up with specific implementation plans that can be monitored against these principles.

Among the departments which signed the pledge includes DTI, Economic Development, Higher Education and Training, Basic Education, PALAMA, Water Affairs, DIRCO, Public Works as well as Public Enterprises.

Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe as the Chairperson of SANAC, together with the Departments of Public Service and Administration and Health, are expected to launch the HCT Intensification Campaign, later in the day.

More than 900 public servants from all government departments are being tested for HIV and screened for other diseases.