AHA Programmes (2001 – Present)
- Health and Nutrition
- Capacity Development
- Relief and Recovery
- Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
- Water and Sanitation
Protection and Assistance
Situated in central Namibia, Osire Refugee Camp currently accommodates about 6,000 people, 75% of whom are Angolan. Since its beginning, AHA has worked with refugees at Osire, providing comprehensive services in curative and preventive health care, water and sanitation, logistics, HIV/AIDS, health promotion, hygiene education, shelter, food distribution and the development of social and community services.
Healthcare: At the heart of effective protection and assistance is good health care, providing open access to lifesaving services for all. With this objective in mind, AHA previously built the Osire Hospital and today continues to offer care in the areas of; preventive, promotional and curative health, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, family planning, adolescent services, immunization, nutritional support and rehabilitation. In 2007 alone AHA performed more than 18,000 medical consultations and reached 90% of the population with our extended programme of immunisation.
Information, Education, Communication:
Equally as important as finding a cure to deadly diseases is prevention, and to this end AHA runs an active health education programme at Osire. We reach out to the community and greatly encourage their participation in awareness raising campaigns, educational sessions, and sensitisation activities. Ongoing training is provided for staff, volunteers and community members, building upon the community’s capacities and empowering them to affect long lasting change. The promotion, training and hard work of numerous community mobilisers has delivered outstanding results, noticeably changing people’s behaviours and influencing healthier lifestyles.
This devastating disease remains a major concern at Osire, as does the stigma that is attached to it. To effectively address the situation AHA has taken a number of important measures; recruiting a refugee community taskforce, training an increased number of counselors, providing ongoing support for infected/affected people, and running an extensive sensitization campaign. In addition condoms continue to be distributed in large numbers and HIV testing greatly encouraged. For those living with AIDS a holistic programme of care and treatment is provided, including the provision of supplementary food rations and ongoing support and encouragement.
Refugees at Osire face ongoing challenges with nutrition and AHA works together with the World Food Programme to provide the food and non-food items upon which so many camp residents depend. Commodities distributed include Corn, Soya Blend, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Salt, Maize meal, Kerosene for cooking and lighting, and other necessary supplies. Further nutritional support is provided through growth monitoring, educational sessions, supplementary feeding programmes, counseling services, and home visits for the vulnerable. The continued assessment and management of people suffering from malnutrition, coupled with effective health education, has recently led to a decrease in the number of resulting deaths and reduced morbidity rates to a minimum.
Water, Sanitation and the Environment: Other activities involve AHA working to improve water and sanitation in the camp, educating residents about economical water use, constructing new water points and supporting the construction of pit latrines. Adequate shelter provision is ensured for all new arrivals and when desired, families are assisted in successful resettlement/repatriation. An agro-forestry programme has delivered further success, with tree planting taking place throughout the camp, providing much needed shelter.
Agricultural training and seed/equipment provision has led to the establishment of more than 300 gardens and a camp nursery, complementing people’s individual sustenance and economic prospects. A number or residents have been further assisted by an Income Generation programme establishing micro-businesses, many of which are oprated women. Projects chosen for seed funding include animal breeding, cell phone repair services, and fish and ice cream sales.
Inclusive Community Development:
AHA remains dedicated to addressing the challenges which effect vulnerable populations, most especially women, children, people with disabilities, orphaned/unaccompanied minors, HIV/AIDS infected and affected people, widows, and the elderly. At Osire we promote inclusion in all of our activities including support/therapy groups, counseling, needs assessment, and care provision. We work hard to educate and empower marginalized groups and to fight against challenges such as sexual and gender based violence.
For more information about AHA Namibia, please contact Namibia@africahumanitarian.org