The Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (LBCH) recently signed a Memorandum Understanding (MoU) with the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET) with the aim of promoting HIV&AIDS awareness among its members.
ASMET President Sam Tegal signed the MoU on behalf of the ASMET and LBCH Chairperson Nadija Tambiah on behalf of the LBCH. LBCH Director Ayomi Fernando and LBCH Coordinator Rukmani Rathnayake presented the services offered by the LBCH and how the partnership with the ASMET and LBCH is envisaged.
In terms of the MoU, the ASMET will provide access to its members in the leisure sector to the awareness sessions offered by the LBCH. The LBCH has been instrumental in conducting peer education and sensitization programmes free of charge for its member associations, with the aim of preventing the spread of HIV&AIDS in the country. The 2015 LBCH focus has been on the hotels and tourism sector, due to its higher vulnerability. The LBCH has already initiated several training/awareness creation programmes for this sector. Working with the ASMET provides an important opportunity for the LBCH to reach a larger number of businesses involved in this sector, as well as to target communities and persons connected with the industry who may be especially at risk.
The LBCH is a non-profit coalition of individual corporates, which has partnered with organisations such as the National STD/AIDS Control Programme of the Health Ministry, Labour Ministry, ILO, UNAIDS, Chambers of Commerce, Hotel Association in Sri Lanka and Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to address the critical issue of HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.
Tegal said HIV and AIDS being a national problem all we need to do us joining hands together to overcome this issue. Further, he requested his members to take advantage of the MoU entered into between the two bodies to take the message of HIV awareness and prevention to a wide audience.