The HIV/AIDS Section of MONUSCO has ended a two-day-workshop in Uganda
Entebbe, 18 August, 2016- The HIV/AIDS Section of MONUSCO has ended a two-day-workshop in the Ugandan town of Entebbe. The workshop that was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Service Centre Entebbe, offered participants a dynamic environment to share knowledge and experiences that enabled them to work together and get inspired by other people involved in the advancement of HIV training around MONUSCO Mission area.
After the plenary presentation by Chief HIV/AIDS Officer Mrs. Dorcella Bazahica, a range of working groups was formed. This presented the possibility to update topics and discuss ways of improving and harmonizing the training materials.
The revision of the training materials was in line with the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS. According to the workshop organizers, the harmonized documents would further reflect the guidelines of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), which is waging the battle against HIV in all DPKO Mission Areas.
During the opening ceremony, Dorcella Bazahica said she wanted participants to understand the importance of educating the public about HIV and AIDS and hopes that the harmonization of training materials would go a long way to improve performance in field activities.
“Holding this workshop will help us to put in place a common strategy for a strong sensitization that could create awareness among all our audiences”, Dorcella says. “This comes from our desire to encourage peacekeepers and the entire public, to take notice of the issues surrounding HIV and to take this opportunity to think about its deeper meaning buried under years of HIV history,” she continuous.
Most participants were of the opinion that we need to hold on to the plight of people affected by HIV, learn from their experiences once and for all, and make the changes that would last for future HIV sensitization, trainings, especially on issues relating to stigma and discrimination.
The discussions at the workshop also made remarks on the issues of gender as well as the violation of the human rights of people living with HIV. It is worthy of note to mention here that UNAIDS had enacted a great change in policy by the implementation of measures to restore the dignity of People living with HIV.
On this issue, the Chief of HIV/AIDS Section also expressed the determination of the Mission Leadership to address the HIV and AIDS issues. Through the HIV sensitization messages, it is quite revealing that the Mission Leadership is undertaking measures aimed at eliminating discrimination and prejudice against people living with HIV so they can work with dignity and have peaceful lives.
During the workshop, participants worked in groups and subgroups to harmonize training materials expressing uniformity to all types of trainings, to promote a better understanding of HIV and AIDS.
In her keynote address to end the workshop, Dorcella praised the major achievements of the HIV/AIDS Section, which was welcomed with applause from the participants. She shed light on the importance of effective training, saying she hopes the revised materials would profoundly influence the sensitization activities in the field.
It is of prime importance to note here that this revised guide represents the experiences, lessons learnt from the field, challenges, and successes of the training programmes of the HIV/AIDS Section with additional information from the UNAIDS, WHO, and to meet the evolving challenges of peacekeeping operations in accordance with DPKO/DFS principles, policies, and guidelines.
By Joseph Tabung Banah