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Sandvik and suppliers join forces against AIDS

Sandvik Zimbabwe received the first runner-up award in the category "Best Corporate Social Responsibility (HIV/AIDS).

In Zimbabwe, Sandvik is working with its suppliers to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases among its workers, their families and customers. The initiative is called the Wellness program. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe's National Chamber of Commerce recognized Sandvik for its excellence in corporate social responsibility.

"AIDS is prevalent in this country, and Sandvik employees are not spared," says Sandvik Human Resources Manager Patricia Munetsi, who is in charge of the effort. "A former managing ­director encouraged us to start a program, which we did in 2005. We have since engaged suppliers, customers and service providers at the mines and broadened the effort to cover other diseases as well. Our work is based on a deep sense of mission and a passion to help."

Other diseases also covered in the program

"We focus on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, cancer and other diseases and encourage people to take diagnostic tests. If diagnosed, Sandvik will help cover the cost of medical treatment. Every year on World AIDS Day, we offer the same benefits to other communities.", says Patricia Munetsi.

The purpose of the program is to involve even more people in the communities, customers, Sandvik employees and their families.

"I feel strengthened, knowing that other key stakeholders in the industry realize the importance of our effort," Munetsi says.