PHAMIT: A program on hiv/aids prevention among migrant workers


Prevention of HIV/AIDS Among Migrant Workers in Thailand – or “PHAMIT,” which in Thai means “friendly skies”.  The program led by the Raks Thai Foundation with seven NGO partners and one government agency focuses on HIV prevention and health services for migrant workers from Burma and Cambodia in the fisheries, seafood and related industries.  The program demonstrates the complexity of working with undocumented migrant workers and the need to address barriers to the access to health services, migrant rights and policy. The trained migrant health assistants play a significant role in implementation of the program at migrant communities and their workplaces.  Migrant health volunteers distribute information, education and communication materials, as well as condoms.  To increase migrant access to health and reproductive health care, all participating partners support the Department of Health Service Supports in organizing migrant-friendly health services at government health facilities.  These activities include sexual transmitted disease diagnosis and treatment, and voluntary HIV counseling and testing.  The services are based on the rights of migrant workers to basic services and migrants becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities. Over a five year period beginning in October 2003, the program has reached 442,000 migrants and more than 20,800 entertainment workers with information about HIV and reproductive health. A total of 6,878,500 condoms has been distributed.  In addition, over 155,080 migrant workers received information on health and labor rights, including regular updates about migrant registration policy. At the same time, through PHAMIT activities, over 13,330 government officials, employers and journalists attended sensitization workshops on issues of migrants’ rights and policies

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