|Meeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)|
|UNV humanitarian action in the field: Effort and impact|
Setting up a network of health surveillance sites was part of the work of Benito Tovera, UNV Regional Public Health Coordinator with WHO in the north of Somalia. His work entailed re-establishing health care capacity in semi-rehabilitated hospitals and clinics.
In a similar assignment Bernarda Cortes, also from the Philippines, developed key programmes for epidemiological surveillance and immunisation activities. She organised vaccination campaigns and epidemic preparedness plans, and oriented Somali zonal health officers. UNVs in Mozambique serve as medical staff to support provincial and central hospitals, helping them maintain their basic operations.
In Uganda, two UNV specialists, Musa M. Baldeh (The Gambia) and Florence Opadina (Nigeria) are working full-time on AIDS education programmes in support of local communities, in close collaboration with TASO, a local NGO which acts as an AIDS support organisation to individuals and families affected by the disease. Florence Opadina has recently had her curriculum on AIDS education endorsed by the Government as part of its health education programme, and has also produced a series of leaflets and booklets on AIDS awareness for general distribution.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic poses a major threat to populations on the move. Studies have shown that the incidence of seropositivity significantly increases amongst displaced populations and refugees, as well as in resident communities affected by such movements and by conflict or the return of demobilised militia. The issue must be addressed as an integral part of any response to conflict, displacement, or demobilisation responses.
In Liberia, UNV Francis Nahamya from Uganda works with WHO and the National AIDS Control Programme. His work focuses on two target groups for counselling and training: sex-workers who would serve as peer-helpers and military personnel (including regional peace-keeping troops from neighbouring countries, as well as former combatants who are being rehabilitated by the Interim Government in Monrovia), Addressing the needs of these two groups most exposed to risks of Sexually Transmitted Disease requires a prevention campaign that focuses on immediate protection while longer-term behavioural changes are brought about.