Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Botswana Diamond Firm to Subsidize AIDS Medications for Employees
Botswana's diamond mining "giant," said Wednesday that it will begin subsidizing antiretroviral medications for its workers and one "legally married spouse," Reuters Health reports. The announcement makes the program "one of the biggest corporate AIDS funding programs in sub-Saharan Africa." Debswana, a
joint venture between the government and DeBeers, employs 6,000 people at its three mines and accounts for a third of the world's diamond supply, 80% of the nation's export earnings and half of the government's revenues (Reuters Health, 3/7). "To extend employees' productive lives, the company will subsidize the cost of antiretroviral drugs," the company said in a statement. Debswana will "immediately" begin covering 90% of the costs of medication as well as subsidizing the "medical expense of monitoring the virus." The nation has one of the world's highest HIV-infection rates, with 35.8% of the country's adults testing positive for HIV. Life expectancy in the nation is expected to drop to age 30 by 2010 because of the the epidemic (Baltimore Sun, 3/8).
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