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Sunday 25 December 2005
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ZAMBIA: IOM gives $800,000 to help combat HIV/AIDS among refugees


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 30 September (PLUSNEWS) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will spend $800,000 this year in continuing support to help Zambia fight HIV/AIDS among Angolan and Congolese refugees it is hosting.

The IOM would help develop local capacity by training refugees and members of host communities to distribute of HIV/AIDS-related information and to act as peer educators for healthcare workers.

Joseph Ogina, head of the IOM Zambia mission, said with population movement, there was a potential risk of an increase in HIV infections. "Social and cultural norms that would ordinarily influence and reduce risky behaviour break down during the migration process," he noted.

The legal status of refugees also limited their access to support, testing, care and treatment, the Times of Zambia reported this week.

Ogina said IOM was working with partners in prevention and capacity building initiatives aimed at assisting the Zambian government to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

[ENDS]

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