| Projects STD-AIDS, care and prevention for foreigners
Since 1996, this project has organised the care for and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and AIDS in two specific target groups: the sub-Saharan migrants from the city of Antwerp, and asylum seekers and refugees in Flanders.
1. Target group research in sub-saharian, HIV-infected patients
The objective of this research was:
- to evaluate the needs concerning access to medical assistance and daily care.
The results of the research showed that:
- the people interviewed have severe financial, social and legal problems.
Information stand on S.T.D. and aids on the "African Festival" in Antwerpen .
|The method used for this action-investigation allows the immediate development of actions and activities meeting the needs of the target group. Step by step, a group of partners in distress was formed, that meets every month and organizes joint activities to offer their support to fellow-sufferers.
In 1998, six meetings were organized with different community leaders. This committee (which represents people from Congo, Nigeria, Ghana; Togo, Ivory Coast, CARE, Mwangaza and others), comes together every two months and has a connecting function between the ITM project STD-Aids care and prevention on the one hand and the sub-Saharan communities on the other.
The committee is responsable for mobilizing the different communities with respect to the problems of STD-Aids. This is achieved by organizing informational and educational activities.
The results of this target group investigation with sub-Saharan patients were presented at the seminar on 18.12.1998: Solidarity in the fight against AIDS. One hundred and seven persons took part, professionals as well as sub-Saharan migrants. The community leaders were actively involved in the organization of this seminar.
The results from 1998 are encouraging. The prevention sessions, organized at the request of the African organizations (YWCA, Mwangaza, the Ghana community, the African Platform and others attracted a lot of people and generated much interest. The distribution of educational material on STD-AIDS and of prevention materials (condoms, brochures) went very smoothly.
2. AIDS prevention with asylum seekers/refugees in reception centres
In the asylum centres of the Red Cross (Lint, Brugge, Menen, Deinze, Lanaken and Overpelt) and the Federal institutions (Kapellen, Merksplas and Brugge), primary AIDS prevention is organized for newcomers. The objective of these prevention sessions "omtrent gezondheid/parlons santé/what about health" is to inform the refugees about vulnerability, medical care, risk behaviour and use of condoms.
In the Red Cross reception centres of Lanaken and Overpelt, a course in medical care was given to three groups of asylum seekers. The aim of this pilot project, on behalf of the Belgian Administration for Development Co-operation (BADC), was to explore the possibility of providing useful short-term training in medical care to interested asylum seekers. The programme was composed of: (1) the human body; (2) causes of illness; (3) attending to an ill person; (4) prevention of infections, vaccinations and hygiene; (5) how to handle traumatic experiences; (6) family planning and fertility; (7) STD; (8) First Aid: resuscitation; (9) First Aid: burns and wounds; (10) recovery process and medication. In Lanaken, 20 participants enrolled, in Overpelt, 23. The courses were evaluated as very positive by most participants.