Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. IOM has current membership of 162 states and is active in 480 field locations across the globe. Together with its partners in the international community, IOM acts to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration governance and to advance understanding of migration issues. IOM aims at encouraging migration inclusive social and economic development, and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants at every phase of the migration cycle.
East and Southern Africa are faced with increasing number of men, women and children migrating in search for livelihoods, employment opportunities, asylum and other reasons. These individuals and their communities are exposed to high risk to HIV, TB, Malaria and other communicable diseases during the migration processes and, often, have limited access to health and other services in their home, transit and host communities. These populations are often forgotten in the health programme development at local, national and regional level, which may limit optimal contribution to the socio-economic development of their communities.
In 2014, recognizing the need to build on the progress made during the first phase of IOM’s health promotion programme titled “the Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa” referred to as PHAMESA I (2010-2013) and the need to continue addressing the persistent health challenges associated with migration as well as IOM’s strategic advantage in assisting this population, the Swedish government granted further funding to the PHAMESA initiative to implement its 2nd phase referred to as PHAMESA II.This 4-year initiative is implemented in 11 countries in the two regions which are among the most significantly affected by migration and the key priority diseases such as HIV, TB, Malaria and other communicable diseases. The 11 countries include Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
PHAMESA programme supports implementation of and is aligned to the 2008 World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 61:17 on the health of migrants. The overall goal of PHAMESA II is to contribute to the improved standard of physical, mental and social well-being of migrants and migration affected populations in East and Southern Africa, which enables them to substantially contribute to the socioeconomic development of their host and home communities.
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