World AIDS Day is held on December 1st of each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite and collaborate in the fight against HIV, raise awareness, show their support for those living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
The global commitment to commemorate the day has significantly helped to gather the needed focus from global leaders, which helped in raising necessary resources to cater for the complex needs of People Living With Aids (PLWAD) and prevention of the population from the pandemic.
Over the past three decades significant successes have been observed in the fight against HIV/AIDS in multiple fronts. Despite these progresses, there still remains tremendous challenge in effectively curbing the pandemic. Desk review of research papers also clearly indicate refugee communities are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, and similar circumstances have been observed across the refugee camps in Liberia.
To minimize the risk of HIV virus transmission in the refugee communities, Africa Humanitarian Action in collaboration with UNHCR and CHT have designed and implemented a public health interventions focusing on improving awareness towards the disease, provision of voluntary counseling and testing sessions, distribution of condoms, sex education and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for People Living With Aids (PLWA)
Furthermore, Africa Humanitarian Action-Saclepea office in collaboration with UNHCR-Saclepea field office, as part of the mass awareness activity, has implemented a three day activity during the World AIDS Day 2015 which included:
- A one day workshop on Teenage Pregnancy Awareness and Prevention;
- Commemoration of WAD on December 1st, 2015; and
- A pregnant mothers Conference Day on December 2nd, 2015.
Workshop on Teenage Pregnancy Awareness and Prevention:
A one day workshop was designed and provided to twenty youth refugees (10 Female, 10 Male) selected by BC central refugee leadership. The main aim of the workshop was to train the youth on teenage pregnancy, its effects on health and prevention of unwanted pregnancy.
World AIDS Day Commemoration
AHA- saclepea joined UNHCR-Saclepea field office to conduct a one day programme in commemoration of the World AIDS Day in Bahn refugee camp.
The program included: a parade, a health education campaign on HIV/ AIDS, a drama performance focusing on the need of awareness and early health seeking behavior, reduction of stigma and discrimination and the benefits of knowing one’s HIV status.
The event was attended by implementing partners (WFP, CARE, ADRA, AIRD, CARITAS, SEARCH, LRRC and refugee leadership) and guest speaker from Bahn City Mayor office who delivered a speech on the overall danger of HIV/AIDS and also made recommendations to expand similar awareness campaigns to the nearby community in Bahn city.
A final message was concluded by a government of Liberia representation through LRRRC, which made a remark on the need for more similar awareness sessions, and concluded by reasserting government commitment to support the cause.
Pregnant Mothers Conference
The focus of this program was to tailor HIV/AIDS services to specific group of the community. The conception of the idea was to enhance service provision for pregnant mothers from ante-natal delivery and post-natal care.
In this specific session, all pregnant mothers in the refugee camp were given a comprehensive health education and individual review of their medical condition was conducted by health professionals.
Based on the finding, number of tests was conducted which included Syphilis, Hgb, U/A, HIV tests. In addition, they were provided with IPT, deworming medicine, Iron supplementation and Insecticide treated bed nets (ITN). On December 2nd, 2015 sixty five pregnant mothers (65) have benefited from the program.