Fight against AIDS: MONUSCO pays special attention to the protection of peacekeepers

Patent grant to peacekeepers as part of training in the fight against HIV. Photo MONUSCO/Joseph Tabung Banah

8 Feb 2018

Fight against AIDS: MONUSCO pays special attention to the protection of peacekeepers

By Joseph Tabung Banah

Goma, 6 February, 2018 - As part of the implementation of their 2018 programme of action, the MONUSCO HIV/AIDS Section, in collaboration with MONUSCO Level III Hospital in Goma, recently organized a workshop to train peacekeepers within the framework of the fight against HIV and AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to the Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section, this workshop that was placed under the auspices of the office of the Force Commander of MONUSCO, was aimed at training counselors to facilitate and encourage voluntary HIV testing among military contingents of MONUSCO. This four-day workshop, he said, brought together participants from Indian, Senegalese, South African, Tanzanian, Malawian, and Uruguayan contingents, based in Goma. While thanking the officials of Level III Hospital for accepting to host this training workshop in their premises, he confirmed that more training workshops will be held elsewhere in the DRC in the next few months.

At the opening ceremony of this workshop, the Deputy Force Commander of MONUSCO, noted that it was necessary for participants to receive quality training, which is tailored to suit the nature and quality of the work of HIV and AIDS counselors.

"For effective HIV prevention," he said, "you have to test and treat at the same time as the organizers just said." He thanked the HIV/AIDS Section and the officials of Level III Hospital for taking the initiative in organizing this training workshop. "This training, as I just learned, is very important for addressing the issues of HIV and AIDS in the community," he concluded.

According to the programme made available to the press by the HIV/AIDS Section, this workshop, which began on January 26, aimed to train a total of 35 counselors on counseling techniques, care, and psychological support of people living with HIV. The organizers said that it was very necessary to train these people who would be able to share their knowledge with colleagues and community members who need more detailed information about the different methods of HIV prevention.

It should be noted here that MONUSCO, through the HIV/AIDS Section, is training and sensitizing the population on the different methods of HIV prevention. It also encourages people to know their HIV status, and how to deal with this epidemic that has continued to claim lives due to neglect, lack of information, and ignorance.