Health and care
Our largest core area in humanitarian aid is in the Health and Care element.
NRCS implements health programmes such as HIV and AIDS, WATSAN and Hygiene Promotion, First Aid, Community TB Care and Malaria.
HIV and AIDS Unit
The HIV and AIDS program started in 1992 when NRCS officially opened its door and it is the biggest program of the NS. The work of HIV and IADS is made possible by 54 care supervisors, 231 care facilitators and 77 peer educators. Currently the HIV and AIDS interventions are operational in 6 regions namely, Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Kavango, Ohangwena, OShikoto and Kunene respectively.
The HIV and AIDS program has 3 components namely:
Home Based Care:
Provides support to people who are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria. This is done through an array of NRCS volunteers who offer the following services at household level: identification and registration of PWHIV (clients) , orphans and vulnerable children; adherence counseling; home nursing; treatment support, treatment literacy, nutritional support; Income Generating Activities (IGA), reduce stigma and discrimination against PWHIV through support groups, psychosocial support; social support and economical and material support. Due to HIV and AIDS and TB co-infection rate, communities are sensitized on TB, defaulters are traced, and patients are encouraged to select their treatment supporters for the duration of their treatment
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) is fully integrated within the Home Based Care and found in the regions that are implementing the home based care programmes which offer holistic support. The components of holistic support are:
HIV Prevention through Peer Education
· Done through condoms demonstration and use to the in school youth, out of school youth and the general public at large
· Community meetings and awareness raising on safe sex practices
· Reproductive health and Prevention from Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT)
· Prevention of re-infection through drama and simulation
Community TB care project
Through the community tuberculosis (TB) care project, NRCS has been involved in community awareness activities, mainly focused on CB-DOT implementation, promotion of adherence to treatment, prevention and referral for medical care. The project is active in three regions and is supported by the Global Fund. . The co-infection rate is high and demanding attention for both TB and HIV support and care. In addition, malaria has been a threat to the HBC clients; and insecticide treated nets (ITNs) have been distributed in the malaria endemic regions
Water and sanitation, is actively implemented in Kunene region. NRCS rehabilitates and protects water points, construction of latrines and hygiene promotion using Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation methodology (PHAST) in the community. Water and sanitation activities are funded by European Union (EU), Belgian and Swedish Red Cross.
First Aid is a major core project of Red Cross and it fall under the Health and Social Services department, which its goals is as below;
To reduce number of deaths and illnesses from the impact of diseases and public health emergencies
Firs Aid provides practical skills essential for saving lives. Namibia Red Cross Society’ staff and volunteers are to make first aid service available to all. First aid is not only about life saving techniques, but includes act of humanity showing willingness and desire to save lives. The national society provides Commercial First Aid to private and government entities and also trains NRCS volunteers and staff on first aid for community services. Through its partnership and networks with sister societies and donors the national society is embarking on strengthening of both financial and technical support of the first aid Unit and services. The project focus area is Community Based First Aid and Commercial First Aid. The National Society Strategic Plan of First Aid (2011-2015) provides the framework for the integration of first aid education and practice with all health and care activities. If the National Society is to fully realise the potential of first aid, the Branches of the National Society are taking concerted effort to train community in first aid.
The Disaster Management allows NRCS to reduce disaster risk and remain prepared to effectively respond to disasters. Namibia is challenged by natural disasters. The National Society is constitutionally mandated with the responsibility of assisting the Namibian Government carry out humanitarian work in times of peace or conflict. Natural disasters such as drought, famine, floods.
A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community through widespread losses and disruption that exceed its capacity to cope using its own resources. During disasters due to natural and man-made hazards or in crises that arise from violent conflicts, the immediate imperative is to save lives, reduce suffering, damage and losses, and to protect, comfort and support affected people. A disaster or crisis may arise as a sudden emergency or it may have slow onset. In either case, it is the National Society’s basic obligation to be well-prepared to use all effective means to help, according to the different needs of women, men and children – wherever and whenever this is needed. Thus the goal of disaster management is to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises. The National Society will accomplish this by employing the following sub themes:
Since the influx of Angolan refugees in Namibia in the 1990’s the National Society has integrated tracing activities as part of its disaster response interventions. In an effort to restore family links for missing people due to war, a network of tracing volunteers has been set up in strategic regions of Caprivi, Kavango, Ohangwena, Osire refugee camp and Khomas. Tracing services are coordinated by regional staff with support from the national tracing officer at HQ. Volunteers play a pivotal role in establishing links for many families.
Humanitarian diplomacy is a multi-directional effort and tool to enhance and further develop the work of National Societies to persuade decision makers and opinion leaders to act, at all times, in the interests of vulnerable people, and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles.
The purpose of Humanitarian Diplomacy is to ensure that:
· Agreements and partnerships with organizations and Governments realize their fullest operational potential, adding l value for National Societies and their programmes.
It supports the strengthening of National Society capacity to use their auxiliary role for the benefit of vulnerable people. Humanitarian Diplomacy thus improves the National Societies overall humanitarian access, helps maintain humanitarian space for National Societies and strengthens the ability of National Societies to pursue their own national objectives. The goal of this critical core area is to pursue Humanitarian Diplomacy to prevent and reduce vulnerability. The National Society will pursue Humanitarian Diplomacy through the following sub themes:
· Partnership– NRCS will use its auxiliary role to achieve greater access for people in need, and create awarenessto the causes and potential consequences of emerging or re-emerging vulnerability for its partners to respond accordingly.
· Advocacy and communication– NRCS will highlight the needs and rights of vulnerable people, whilst striving to give them a strong voice in all negotiation processes.
· Resource mobilization– NRCS will pursue Humanitarian Diplomacy through strong external partnerships and a diversified and expanded resource base.