IndustriALL Global Union came together with local partners to carry out a successful Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) campaign at the Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) in Zambia on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2012.
Located in Chingola in Zambia’s Copperbelt, which is responsible for the production of about 60 per cent of the country’s copper production, KCM is the major employer in the area with an estimated total workforce of 28,000, of whom 20,000 are contract workers.
The VCT campaign was co-sponsored by the District Aids Task Force (DATF), KCM and IndustriALL Global Union. Events started with an awareness raising march that led to the KCM mine club, where KCM and the District of Chingola office made available councilors and testers whose aim was to test 1,000 people during the day.
The event was well attended by workers, their families as well as members of the community, who were provided with food and drinks and t-shirts to commemorate their participation.
“The spirit was jovial and even heavy rains did not spoil ours plans,” reports Africa Project Coordinator Paule Ndessomin. “By the early afternoon the target was reached, a total number of 1,009 people were tested with 47 found to be HIV positive.”
All those that tested positive were given referral letters to the main hospital for further tests and the District official gave his assurance they will be looked after.