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Archive for August, 2015


EIGHT POINTS PLAN FOR HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT ON WAR ON DRUGS

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29 August 2015 for Immediate Release

“Civil Society Organisations call on the President to invest in evidenced based drug treatment as part of his new drug strategy.

Kenya Harm Reduction Network (KHRN) and Kenya Network of People who use Drugs/affected by  drugs (KENPUD) acknowledge the President directions on Drugs Supply Reduction but more needs to be done

As the president announces new “war on drugs” to tackle the supply side of the drug trade, the Kenya Harm Reduction Network and the Kenya network of people who use drugs/affected by drugs set out an eight point plan that would ensure that problem drug use is treated as a health problem, as required by the Kenyan constitution. The UNODC estimates there  are 49167 IDU within Nairobi and coast province (26667 at the coast and 22500 in Nairobi). People who inject drugs are at a much higher risk of HIV transmission, it is estimated that the prevalence rate for PWID is 18.2% compared to 6.1% for the general population. The majority of drug users are age 19-40yrs old, meaning the condition effects them when they are at their most productive age and when they can greater economic impact. Kenya Harm reduction Network and communities of people affected by drug use have been championing the response to drug use in the country for the past ten years.

Caleb Angira, a spokesperson for Kenya Harm Reduction Network (KHRN), stated that “The President’s new focus on the war on drugs must be used as an opportunity to address the problem from a public health perspective.”

Drug use is a complex issue, with prevalence among diverse and differencing demographics.  After decades of a global war on drugs we have seen that drug use does not disappear but the lives of those who use drugs, their families,and communities are devastated by such actions. Public health  initiatives, like drugs, dependency treatment and  methadone have shown to reduced problematic drug use and the transmission of HIV, KHRN and networks of people who use drug/affected by drug use are requesting for an immediate meeting with the various county and national stakeholders to come up with  humane ,relevant, long term   and sustainable strategies to address the issue of drug use,otherwise millions of Kenya Shillings and countless lives will be lost in a futile endeavour’.

Kenya Harm Reduction Network appreciates the efforts of the Kenyan government in tackling the illicit drug trade. We acknowledge the initiative of H.E the president, Uhuru Kenyatta to stand for the health of all Kenyans in accordance with Article 43 of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, which speaks to the right to the highest attainable standard of health including the right to health care services and social security. In accordance to the social pillar of Kenya Vision 2030, the government is committed to invest in the people of Kenya in order to improve the quality of life for all Kenyans by targeting across, section of human and social welfare. Hence we call upon the government of Kenya to set standards as per Article 21 (2) of the Kenya constitution that states, “The State shall take legislative, policy and other measures, including the setting of standards, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights guaranteed under Article 43.”

We respectfully propose the following eight point plan, to assist the President’s drug strategy by.

  • There is a need to provide treatment for people who use drugs who want to recover from addiction. -This would be a more effective way to control the drug problem
  • The need to invest in detoxification and rehabilitation services for the expected increase in demand for services.
  • To increase support and scale up of prevention, treatment and care services to people who used drugs including the Methadone program and, HIV & hepatitis c treatment
  • Put health and community safety first through a fundamental reorientation of policy priorities and resources, from incarceration of people who use drugs to proven health and social interventions
  • Civil Society Organisations providing services for people who use drugs and the network of communities of people who use drugs/affected by drugs must be meaningfully involved in county and national policy and program development. At the present time, policies and programs are being made without our input resulting in more harm to users. Arresting users from dens and throwing them in prisons and not into treatment and detox has drastic medical consequences including withdrawal complications, congestion and disease outbreaks within prisons, and death.
  • We recommend that users arrested not be jailed but referred to the treatment centres in accordance to the section 58 of the psychotropic Narcotic Act no 4, 1994.
  • The government needs to provide funding for the rehabilitation programs as stipulated in the Psychotropic Narcotic Act no 4, 1994.
  • Ensure equitable access to essential medicines, in particular opiate based medications for pain relief

Kenya Harm Reduction Networks and networks of people who use drugs/affected by drug use request immediate meetings with the various county and national stakeholders to come up with humane, relevant, long term   and sustainable strategies to address the issue of drug use.

END.

 

 

Contact:

Kenya Harm Reduction Network

Chairperson: Mr Caleb Angira – 0720 401 793

Secretary:    Mr. Abdallah Badrus – 0722 677 481

Network Hub Address:

Email: info@reachout.or.ke

Organising Secretary: Mr.Taib Abdulrahman -0722 415 475

 

 

 

 

 

SENSITIZATION OF SENIOR INSPECTORATE DEPARTMENT ON HARM REDUCTION AND DRUG DEPENDENCE

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On  July 20th ,2015, Reachout held a sensitization  meeting for the Senior Inspectorate on Harm reduction, Human Rights  and Drug dependence. This meeting was to strengthen the partnership ,collaboration  and to highlight  key issues affecting people who use drugs  in order  to promote  more enabling environment for delivery of evidenced based interventions for people who use drugs in Mombasa as part of the National HIV/AIDS Response.

The specific objectives of the meeting were:

  1. To strengthen the capacity of inspectorate officers and other heads of criminal justice department on understanding drug dependence complexity and to explore measures that will help Mombasa County in addressing drug menace and their roles in harm reduction and promotion of peace and security as well as protection of human rights of IDUs in the context of the constitution of Kenya 2010.
  2. To enhance the Inspectorate Officers and heads of criminal justice department to understand HIV, Human rights and the law in the context of provision of harm reduction services and a devolved government system.
  3. To identify and develop an action plan to address the legal and human rights challenges affecting the provision of harm reduction services in Mombasa County

The Team had several expectations that they were anticipating to achieve after the meeting, include:

  • Expecting to learn about Drug and drug dependence
  • Expecting to get knowledge and disseminate it to others.
  • Expecting to live in harmony
  • Expecting to work with CSOs who deal with PWIDs and enhance peace
  • Getting more information on drugs

                CURRENT STATISTIC ON PWIDs

The current estimated number of PWIDs in Kenya as stated by KIAS is 18,327. The prevalence rate of HIV is 18.3% which is three times higher than the general prevalence rate of HIV in the whole population of 5.6% in Kenya. Mombasa is leading with general population of PWIDs being 8,500 and Nairobi 6,216.

Reachout Director .Mr.Taib , giving facts on drug menace in Mombasa County during the senior Inspectorate sensitization Harm Reduction, Human Rights and Drug Dependency

Reachout Director .Mr.Taib , giving facts on drug menace in Mombasa County during the senior Inspectorate sensitization Harm Reduction, Human Rights and Drug Dependency

MEDICAL ASSISTED THERAPY

The team was taken through on MAT program that is about to be initiated soon. This was to inform the heads of inspectorate and the criminal justice to collaborate with the CSOs so as to support the PWIDs during the MAT program.

The team was explained on the goals of MAT. These goals were:

  • To reduce or stop opiod use in order to eliminate HIV and Harm reduction associated with illicit injected opiod use.
  • Enhance health status, psychosocial well being and quality for opiod dependant persons.

POLICY –People who use drugs and Human Rights

The group was taken through the policies and the bills of rights that every person is entitled as per article 43 of the Kenyan constitution.

The group were high lighten on  some of the violations that the PWIDs are facing in the Mombasa County as a result of the Inspectorate harassment and brutality to people who use drugs.

VIDEO PLAY

A video was played that showed how drug has affected the people in the coastal region. A female drug user“Maimuna” not her real name made a cry for comprehensive package for the PWIDs and the immediate introduction of Methadone so as to avert the HIV and blood borne viruses to spread.

TESTIMONY FROM FORMER DRUG USER

Mr.Murad Swaleh gave out his testimonial. He narrated how he battled with addiction for 19 years .He stated how he came out of addiction and how he had seen his friends {Drug users} being violated their human rights. He urged the Inspectorate to handle the PWIDs as fellow human beings and stop brutality.

OUTCOME

The senior Inspectorate management team anonymously agreed of the following recommendations:

  1. All arrested PWIDs to be taken to Reachout Drop Centre for  support instead of jail sentence
  2. All PWIDs working in the Inspectorate to be supported on their drug use instead of  job termination
  3. Reachout to organize a football match between PWIDs and the Inspectorate so as ease out the tension of enmity
  4. Continuous meeting with the Inspectorate so to build a strong network.
  5. RCT Director and Inspectorate in Charge to visit Tudor Division to enhance networking.
  6. More follow up meetings should be initiated.
  7. Sensitise the people who use drugs on the importance of County and Security and educate them to harmonise with the inspectorate team.
  8.      Reachout team of addiction counse4llors to meet the addicted employees of the inspectorate.
  9. During arrest, all PWIDs should be treated like fellow human beings and their rights to be observed.
  10. Deputy division commander requested that Tudor Division staffs be trained on drug addiction.