SOUTH AFRICA - IOM Launches Expanded HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Programme for Migrants and Mobile Populations in East and Southern Africa
The revised programme, renamed "Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa" (PHAMESA), will include broader migration health issues and will assist countries in East and Southern Africa to address migrant vulnerability to health risks including HIV. Labour migrants, forced migrants and irregular migrants will be targeted by the programme throughout all stages of the migration process.
The PHAMESA programme takes a comprehensive approach to migrants' health, while emphasizing HIV prevention, treatment and care, as well as related conditions such as tuberculosis (TB), sexual and reproductive health, including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
With funding of US$9 million for the next three years, the programme aims to assist countries in identifying and responding to the health needs of migrants and affected communities through: building the capacity of communities to address the health vulnerability of migrants and mobile populations; advocacating for and providing technical assistance towards developing migrant friendly health policies; undertaking and disseminating empirical research and strategic information that will highlight the link between migration and health.
The PHAMESA programme will bring together national and regional stakeholders to share good practices, as well as to increase coordination and cooperation among key technical partners and stakeholders in East and Southern Africa. The programme will be rolled out in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia.
"By harnessing the collective capacities, skills and knowledge of IOM staff working at country and regional levels across East and Southern Africa, this harmonized programme will assist both government and civil society partners to deliver high quality health services to communities and individuals affected by migration", says Reiko Matsuyama, Migration Health Officer at IOM.
PHAMESA carries forward lessons learnt from the successful implementation of the PHAMSA programme which examined the needs of migrants within the public health context This approach recognises that migrants do not live in isolation and interact in workplaces and in larger shared communities. Therefore, protecting migrants from communicable diseases also protects migrant-receiving and migrant sending-communities.
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