ICASA 2019:Health activists advocate for Migrants and Refugees among key populations

By The Inspirer writer.

Health activists call for a strong advocacy for Migrants and refugees who are identified as key populations facing challenges in accessing to HIV/AIDS healthcare services.

This was discussed during a side event of International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, ICASA 2019 that is taking place in Kigali.

During the discussions held in Kigali on December 4, 2019, various health experts said that sustaining a good collaboration between governments and International Organization for Migration (IOM) could be a very crucial position in addressing HIV risks among migrants.

Dr. Francis Bwambale Mulekya, Migration Health Coordinator said that strengthening collaboration among governments, multi-lateral organizations and Faith-Based Organizations can be a right strategy to seek a solution of the problem through advocacy in Africa, provisions of services and addressing HIV risks.

“We are aware that most of the member states in Africa have made commitment at global level by signing global instruments like compact on migration, global action plan on migrants…, so those are guiding frameworks that IOM is taking forward to ensure that some of the recommendations of this important instrument are integrated within the policy and development process” Bwambale said.

“From the perspective of IOM what we do is to identify migrants in the community where they are and then involve them, integrating them in medical care systems, and some of the modes we use are mobile clinics, we work close to government and public facilities to make sure that we deliver outreach services, integrated HIV AIDS services to migrants communities. We also have to take into consideration host communities for integration.” He added.

Participants posed for a photo

The session was organized by Rwanda NGOs Forum on AIDS and Health Promotion (RNGOF) in collaboration with UNAIDs, IOM and UNHCR, with the objective of offering a platform for strategic discussions on the roadmap and ways to track the HIV agenda in Africa in the context of migration and human mobility and in line with global goals and the compacts

The findings state that in eastern and southern Africa close to seven million people are estimated to be displaced and nearly two million people living with HIV directly affected by humanitarian crises.

ICASA 2019, which is the largest conference on AIDS, brings together thousands of people from across the African continent and elsewhere to highlight the threat raised by the HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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