In 1999 global pharmaceutical and healthcare company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and the BMS Foundation made what to this day is the largest corporate commitment to fight HIV/Aids in Africa.
This came through the launch of Secure the Future (STF): Care and Support for Women and Children with HIV/Aids. The programme is a $150-million investment, with projects in 12 African countries.
According to the UNAIDS 2006 Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, last year there were an estimated 2,3-million children under the age of 15 living with HIV/Aids worldwide. Almost 90% are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the past eight years, the STF programme has grown into a commitment to create sustainable models to combat the HIV/Aids pandemic. Countries benefiting include South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Mali, Namibia, Swaziland, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi.
BMS has partnered with the governments of these countries. It says these partnerships have recognised the role of other private-sector companies, academic institutions, faith-based organisations and the non-profit sector as technical and implementing partners in the fight against Aids.
Through these public private partnerships, more than 208 programmes in various categories have resulted in ‘breakthrough interventions”.