World Aids Day 2015, Bahn Refugee Camp

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:

  1. A one day workshop on Teenage Pregnancy Awareness and Prevention;
  2. Commemoration of WAD on December 1st, 2015; and
  3. 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.

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World Malaria Day 2016

“Beating the drum against Malaria: Ending Malaria for good begins at home”.

Africa Humanitarian Action, in collaboration with UNHCR, has conducted a one day mass awareness session on Malaria in Little Wlebo camp on April 27th, 2016, in recognition of World Malaria Day (WMD).

WHO designated April, 25th as World Malaria Day (WMD), since 2007, to enforce countries to take the opportunity to improve mass awareness, provide universal access to diagnostic and treatment supplies, and secures availability of consistent funding, to prevent malaria among the vulnerable.

Malaria has been the oldest disease known to humanity. In the Ivorian refugee camps across Liberia, malaria has remained number one cause of outpatient visit by the refugee community. Nevertheless, Liberia as a country endemic to the disease has shown no reluctance as malaria is a number one cause of out-patient visit and number one cause of in-patient mortality.

In the past few decades, advancement in research and technology has succeed inculcating new methods and techniques on diagnosis and treatment on malaria, hence has put a dent in reducing the burden of the disease, but there still remains a significant challenge to subdue Malaria to end its sufferings.

This year WMD global theme is “End malaria for good” and the theme chosen for LW Refugee Camp was, “Beating the drum against Malaria: Ending Malaria for Good begins at home”. This theme is chosen to reinforce community engagement, in the effort towards ending malaria sufferings.

At the event, different activities took place to incite the refugee communities to protect themselves from Malaria, by promoting personal and environmental hygiene, sleeping under insecticide treated mosquito nets, early medical seeking behavior.  Furthermore, messages were delivered by the Health & WASH coordinator and partners emphasizing on the need for community engagement on prevention activities  and reducing burden on the disease among children, under the age of five and pregnant women.

Africa Humanitarian Action effort was also appreciated by the central refugee leadership chair lady, who reinforced the health messages to the refugee community.

 
AHA handed over Equipment’s to Relief Rehabilitation Commission

April 26, 2016, Pariang South Soudan, Africa Humanitarian Action handed over UNHCR equipment’s to Relief Rehabilitation Commission.

A ceremonial handover took place at the Relief Rehabilitation Commission office in pariang with the presence of officials from local government, Jam Jang So, and staffs of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA). The hand over came following the decision by Africa Humanitarian Action, to scale down its activities after relative restoration of peace in the Pariang County.

Africa Humanitarian Action in partnership with UNHCR, has been present in Pariang since 2014 to Implement Camp Coordination and Camp Management and protection (CCCM) project for internally displaced persons (IDP’s) after the break out of conflict in south Sudan. The project covered 8 Payams of the Pariang County and has assisted a total number of 10,490 IDPs in line with the IDP response Strategy.

After the phase out, by the end of June 2016, the Relief Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) will take over the remaining work for IDP in Pariang. The handover will support the RRC capacity building.

At the ceremony, officials from RRC and the Pariang community showed their appreciation to both UNHCR and AHA for the assistance rendered and also stressed on the need for continuous support. On the same token UNHCR thanked the government for the support and assured RRC to provide assistance when needed.

AHA Field Coordinator (left) hands over documents to the RRC Coordinator. Pic: Fedson Chikuse, UNHCR.

 
AHA held a youth sensitization workshop on HIV and Teenage pregnancy

Africa Humanitarian Action in collaboration with UNHCR, conducted a one day sensitization workshop, on HIV and teenage pregnancy on May 13, 2016, at Little wlebo Refugee Camp, in Maryland County, Liberia. The main aim of the workshop was to equip youth with basic knowledge on HIV, reproductive system, menstrual cycle and physiology of conception. The workshop also focused on specific preventive measures for unwanted pregnancy and HIV.

Different methodologies such as lectures, group discussion and presentations where used, in order to create dialogue amongst the youth and to provide them with practical life saving skills.

Participants for the workshop included 40 boys and girls from Little Wlebo Refugee Camp, age ranging from 15 to 25. During the sensitization workshop, the youth addressed different topics such as: the roles and responsibilities of youth health ambassadors; teenage pregnancy, causes, consequences and prevention methods; family planning methods; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support methods; and demonstration of correct use of condoms and other family planning methods.

A post-workshop is planned to follow up on the youth and a clear line of collaboration was also established with community health workers.

Youth Workshop

 
AHA EVI Support Programme PTP Camp, Grand Gedeh County

Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA) teamed up with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sub-regional office and refugee leadership, for the implementation of a support program Directed towards People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWA) and clients with mental illnesses, in PTP camp, Grand Gedeh County.

The program started in the second quarter of 2015 and is intended to support the Extremely Venerable Individuals (EVI) in terms of providing income generating activities and options for stress relief.

To this end, agriculture was identified as a major activity to supplement the livelihood of the people and also fight anemia and malnutrition which is prevalent in the refugee camps. The agriculture was planned for a group farming scheme and also to support individuals who already secured land for individual farming. With 120 beneficiaries, 15 acre of land was secured for the group farming while more than 20 acre of individual farms were supported.

1.1 Group farm

The group farm was started with only 5 acre of land but with successful implementation, additional 10acre was awarded for AHA from the host community through LRRRC thus reaching more beneficiaries. Currently 120 EVIs are supported in the program (PLWA, Mental illnesses and elderly people).

1.2 Individual farms

25 clients with farms around the camp were identified and given financial support. The support provided include; payments for labor force to complete the expansion work on individual farm, brushing of the bush, weeding, use of insecticides and herbicides.

Coordination with camp leadership: AHA has established a strong coordination with the camp leadership from the initiation of the project. The team composed of PLWA and community health workers who are also beneficiaries in the group.  Elderly individuals were are also included in the beneficiaries so as to solve unattended death cases amongst the elderly and conduct regular health check up at the farm site.

The leadership continuously provided technical advice with regular visits to the farm; mobilized the youth and the camp security team to volunteer to brush and clear the farm land; and supported the farm by mobilizing the block leaders to come and work at the farm every Saturday.

Coordination with Partners in the camp: AHA partner, LRRRC took the lead of negotiating the land deal with the host community and was able to secure 15 acre of land. Furthermore, LRRRC and Care supported the program by making regular visit to assure the security and safety of the project.

Coordination with UNHCR Sub-office Zwedru: UNHCR sub office provided continuous technical support and also visited the farm project to directly encourage the beneficiaries. The sub office through the nutrition associate also co-headed the different coordination meetings with partners (USAID-HANDS, MOA and others) that AHA is attending to expand the farm.

Coordination with other stakeholders: AHA was also working closely with Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). MoA did inspection of the farm land to provide machine for tilling of the farm. MoA agreed to provide the machinery for tilling to speed up the process and also minimize labor coast. In addition the Ministry was very supportive in the free provision of some seedlings and fertilizer. With support from WHO/WFP, AHA has secured 700 pairs of rain boots which were distributed for the EVIs, volunteers, camps security and the leadership and LRRRC staffs in the camp.

1.3 Group farm handover

AHA handed over the first farm garden on September 5, to the intended beneficiaries in PTP camp. The farm given out covered three acres of crops comprising of cassava, maize, beans, ground nuts, bitter balls and soybeans. The process of dividing the portions to each beneficiary was carefully taken by drawing all the beneficiaries on board before the final handover which was graced by UNHCR representation, CARE camp management and camp leadership.  A group of forty EVIs benefited from the first pilot project.

 

 

 

 
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