The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) opened two offices in Vladikavkaz and Nazran in the year 2000. Since then the overall objective of SDC activities in the region is to alleviate poverty and improve integration and living conditions for the most vulnerable populations affected by conflicts and natural disasters in the Northern Caucasus. SDC programmes focus on Health/Prevention of infectious diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, TB and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), emergency assistance and psycho-social support, prevention of natural hazards, integration of IDP’s and refugees with durable housing in Ingushetia and North Ossetia.
The overall goal of the program is to reduce morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases, especially tuberculosis and AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and to increase preparedness of local health structures to potential future epidemics. Current objectives include: improvement of laboratory diagnoses procedures; carrying out of AIDS prevention campaigns; Improvement of medical professional skills through the training of community health networks.
High quality binocular microscopes along with specific laboratory equipment, multiscan readers, autoclaves, incubators were delivered to specialised laboratories in Vladikavkaz and Nazran. Over the last 4 years numerous friendly and participatory activities were implemented in order to increase knowledge and awareness among teenagers and general population concerning HIV/AIDS.
Many different leaflets, and over 7000 posters were produced in close cooperation with the Ministries of Health, the Aids Centres and distributed in the republics of North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Since 2004 two trams - specially painted with AIDS prevention slogans - are circulating in the streets of Vladikavkaz. Billboards, focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention are visible over many months in Nazran and Vladikavkaz. Joint SDC-WHO surveys started in North Ossetia and Ingushetia on HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude and practice. A similar study has been done in Chechnya. These three studies will be useful for the planning new AIDS prevention campaigns in North Ossetia, Ingushetia, and Chechnya.
Several training courses on laboratory diagnoses, including quality control and therapy were carried out with the participation of laboratory and clinical staff working at central and regional level. The topics included: General bacteriology, Antibiotic resistance, Tuberculosis, Diagnoses of HIV/AIDS and Sexually transmitted diseases.