The PHAMESA regional programme offers a comprehensive public health approach, addressing health concerns that particularly affect migrants and mobile populations with focus on HIV prevention, treatment and care, and related conditions like TB and reproductive health.

IOM’s Partnership for Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) aims to improve the management of migration health and reduce migrants’ vulnerability to HIV by responding to their health needs throughout all phases of the migration process.

PHAMESA focuses primarily on Labour Migrants and Mobile Workers, Forced Migrants, and Irregular Migrants in the context in which they live and work, including their families and host communities as well.

PHAMESA’s programme approach is to focus on the individual risk factors of HIV infection as well as the structural and environmental factors that influence individual behaviour. This approach is based on evidence that individual choices about sexual behaviour are dependent on the socio-economic and cultural environment in which migrants live and work.

PHAMESA promotes migration health through five programme components:

  1. Service Delivery and Capacity Building - Through projects on the ground, IOM develops and implements comprehensive interventions that are responsive to the unique environment of labour migrants. Through the PHAMESA Health Promotion and Service Delivery model IOM seeks to address both conditions that increase HIV vulnerability of labour migrants as well as the individual HIV risk factors (see diagram). Identify gaps in health service delivery and facilitate migrants’ access to health care services.
  2. Advocacy and Policy Development - IOM advocates for regional, national and sectoral policies that contribute to the wellbeing of migrants and the reduction of HIV incidence and impact of AIDS among migrant and mobile workers and their families. This is one done through increasing the awareness on HIV dynamics of labour migration amongst key policy makers in regional economic communities (RECs), governments and private sector.
  3. Research and Information Dissemination - IOM continuously engages in research to gather strategic information in order to develop effective evidence-based HIV programmes, as well as, influence policy and dialogue. The findings of these assessments and research on population mobility and health are widely distributed in East and Southern Africa in order to improve the understanding of the Migration Health issues.
  4. Regional Coordination - IOM is committed to developing and strengthening partnerships and coordination among RECs and other regional partners (UN and regional/international NGOs) in order to improve harmonization of programmes and to promote Migration Health. To this end, IOM regularly organizes regional workshops on the health responses in the different labour sectors that employ mobile workers.
  5. Governance and Control - Ensuring transparent, efficient and effective governance and control through financial control measures, reporting schedules and standard operating procedures. Monitoring and evaluation for results based management will be strengthened, including reviews and evaluations on a regular basis.