HIV/AIDS Management and The Mobile Workforce: A Case Study of Security Forces in Namibia
The HIV /AIDS pandemic has a peculiarity with persons employed in the security forces, health care delivery chain and students in hostels. Security personnel are especially vulnerable because they operate predominantly away from home for long periods of time and also, away from their regular sexual partners. Despite the many awareness programmes instituted by governments and non-governmental organisations, to fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Namibia, the pandemic continues to claim lives on a daily basis. It is against this background that this study was conducted. The study investigated the management of HIV/AIDS at the Namibia Security Forces (NSF) and nature of workforce. Data from a sample of 96 respondents was collected employing questionnaire design through purposive and convenient sampling approaches and consequently analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS v. 11. 5).
The results showed that 62 percent of the security forces personnel from the survey conducted had experienced frequent transfers or redeployments from their original work locations to foreign missions or outside duty stations as work duty demands. On the frequency of occurrence of transfer, 39 percent had either been transferred once or twice from their duty stations to outside work stations, while 15 percent had been transferred 3 to 4 times since joining the force. Furthermore, the findings from the study therefore imply that security forces personnel are more vulnerable to exposure to HIV/AIDS due to the nature of their work (data for this assertion is required_ at least from some reading if not from the survey itself). Conclusively, it is recommended that management should henceforth adopt strategic management approach to managing the HIV pandemic in their workplace in addition to the awareness and educational programmes.
Key words: HIV/AIDS management, mobile workforce, security forces, Namibia.