Blog

Slider

Posted by:

A drug free life-Walid

Posted by:

I am Waleed Yusuf popularly known as Adebayor, I started using drugs at the age of 14 when I was in class seven. I can openly say that my life has been in drugs and drugs have been everything for me, little did I know that I was digging my own grave. I have traveled all over the world as a seaman, doing all the nasty things while in the ship and at the dock. My youthful life was moving from one woman to another and drugs were everything I valued, not my family any more. When I returned to Mombasa after my life in the sea I did not relent neither, alcoholism and drug took full control of my life.

I later decided to take a fresh turn in my life after the burden was too heavy for me and my family too. I lost my father because of addiction, the suffering was too heavy for him and to date my mother is bedridden suffering from high blood pressure and all sorts of depression because of how my life was.

However, four years ago my life took a u turn where Reachout Centre Trust lend me a hand that today am still holding on to, I went to Reachout Rehabilitation Centre at ‘Corner ya Mtongwe’ Likoni where I seriously took my four month drug dependency treatment program, the Organization’s Executive Director Taib Abdulrahman supported me out of drug menace and to date words cannot fully express enough of what is at the bottom of my heart towards Mr. Taib and all the Reachout Center Trust staff.

For four years I have been living a drug free life, employed by Reachout Centre Trust, spending most of my free time in the mosque and working towards helping other drug users out of the menace. I fully support harm reduction efforts, I value, cherish and thank the Institution for bringing me back to healthy life and specifically the Executive Director Taib Abdulrahman for his dedication towards a drug free society.

Thank you so much Reachout Centre Trust for the gift of recovery.

Reachout Media Awards

Posted by:

Since 2005, Reachout Centre Trust had a good working relation with the media fraternity in highlighting drug menace not only in Coast but Kenya at large; we acknowledge the support you have accorded us all through in combating this menace.

It is with the above reference that we are recognizing Journalists who have joined us towards propagating for universal healthcare and progressive Drug Policies in the region.

We are launching a unique edition of the Reachout Media awards under the theme Harm Reduction & Drug Policy reform for sustainable Development.

 The awards will recognize Journalists from Radio, TV, Print and Social media who their work advocated for Drug policy reform which is porous hence causing more harm than good to people who use drugs and who pushed for Harm reduction interventions which are evident based approach in fighting drug abuse.

The event will be held on 31st August 2018. For more information, get in touch with us through

Facebook: Reachout Centre Trust

Instagram: @reachoutcentretrust

twitter: @reachoutpwani

website:www.reachout.or.ke

 

#HarmReductionMediaAwards

Every Cloud has a silver lining

Posted by:

 

‘’My eyes were red and burning, my malnourished body could  no longer attract anyone, I was weak and enfeebled, on logical grounds my 5 years in addiction had been one hell of an ordeal.’’ Diana.

‘Have you ever woken up one morning and hate your life, looking at yourself and feeling unworthy, lowliness and debase; living in a society that looks down upon you, judgmental and always criminalizing your behavior? Wondering why God is taking long to take away the life He gave you? I had lost purpose and life had no meaning, but one thing that kept me going was HOPE because I believed every cloud has a silver lining and God doesn’t give big fights to little soldiers,’ unfold Diana.

Through Reachout centre trust’s comprehensive medical outreaches which we routinely conducts in different drug hotspots at least after every three months, with the support of Global Fund through Kenya Red Cross society, in one of the highly populated hotspot which host most of the People who use drugs in Mombasa county (Go down) our Outreach team was able to interact with among few female drug users affected by drugs.

Diana; not her real name, she used to inject heroin and was on a medically devastating situation, her skin was pallid, she was cadaverous, wan and her condition was not appealing.

Diana had leg ulcers following a shootout (a scenario where  a person who inject drugs misses the vain) this is common among People who inject drugs because of the frequency of injecting, then came up an inflammation leading to an abscess, she was medically attended to and willingly agreed to do follow up at the Drop-In-Centre (DIC) for treatment and counseling.

“It was during the follow up session, counseling and the support I was accorded at the Reachout drop in centre that I opened up to my Doctor that I had defaulted from ART treatment because of my behavior though I was afraid, I was later  attached  to Peer case manager & I was linked back to treatment,’’ she narrates.

While back on her medication, her immune started to regain   and many opportunistic infections additionally started showing up, to fan the flames, after several tests she was diagnosed with TB, again she was linked to TB treatment.

Female drug users face more challenges than their counterparts because of their vulnerability in a male dominated environment, with unemployment rate higher among this Key population than the general public, female drug users are forced into sex work because they cannot get a job.

‘Five years back I was doing commercial sex work, I used not to take heroin but a friend made me use drugs, I used to send her for Marijuana not knowing she was adding heroin into it, it went on for quite sometime & I started noticing the difference when smoking marijuana not supplied with her, she later told me what she had been doing, I got frustrated and beat her up but there was nothing I could do about it,’ narrates Diana.

She swallows the bitter pill and accounts how she got HIV.

‘It was during my  early days of my addiction when I met my colleague who was injecting heroin, I was not aware people can inject too just to get high, she told me that one easily get high and heroin last longer in the body than smoking, she even made me try it, I dint even think twice and within a blink I had injected myself with the same needle, the lady was HIV positive and that’s how I ended up getting HIV, I wish I had much information as am now,’ Diana depict bitterly.

Due to her heroin addiction and substance demand, Diana was not compliant to her medication, she used to miss her sessions for her directly observed therapy at the Drop In centre and her wound care for days.

“Councilors and the Clinical team dint gave up on me, they keep on counseling me and seeing lots of recovering drugs users around me, it really motivated me to change,  I finally agreed to Opiod substitution therapy (Methadone) which has more advantage on my adherence,’’ pauses Diana.

She agreed to Methadone, assessment was done and she was inducted to Methadone program, now Diana looks ebullient and full energy, she has reformed and is ready to face life more enthusiastic.

Now on her recovery Diana had transformed health wise and her personality; she’s more charismatic, affectionate and robust, her family has accepted her back and her journey to sane does not only depends on Reachout but we all have responsibility towards accepting both recovering and drug users to get out of the jaws of death.

Who has the right?

Posted by:

 

“Too much of anything is poisonous.” Many are the times I used this phrase in composition writing back in the day without really paying too much attention to it. It was just a phrase, you know, just used so that the English teacher (it has a very humongous difference when you say English teacher) could add marks to my composition; colloquial expressions, English Aid Std 6, I used you so much I feel like I should pay you. I know, I’m diverting, silly me. But really, to what extent have you thought of this phrase. How true, false or in between the middle it might be. This is what addiction represents, to me at least. Something one will start, slowly by slowly until they are totally encompassed by it that survival without it seems unfathomable. But isn’t it too much?

Addiction, according to the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment, or distress, as manifested by several specific characteristics, occurring any time in the same12-month period ( Read the book on more). So basically this is a situation where the too much has been used that it has actually become poisonous. A situation where the tolerance level increases over time. A situation where the psychological, social, biological and environmental factors have, in one way or the other, contributed in the development and maintenance of the addiction; whether to a substance like drugs or to behaviors like gambling, sex, etc.

Back to my first paragraph. The issue of “it” being too much, who will see it as being too much? Who even has the right to see it as too much? Who gives authority over that anyway? The user or the observer? What is the criteria of classifying it as too much? When do we realize that it is too much? When are we allowed to even comment or act upon the fact that it is too much?

Sometimes it’s easier to point a finger forgetting that three others are pointing back. It is always easy to judge the other person without even paying attention to the numerous skeletons we have in our own closets. We tend to jump into conclusions without even paying attention to the little aspects that end up changing the entire perspective. Basically, it’s a tendency. They are addicted to sex; they must have been raped or watched a lot of porn. They are addicted to drugs; they must have poor decision making skills to just follow their peers without thinking. Psychologically speaking, any form of addiction speaks volumes but first of all, it is a symptom of some underlying issues. It is a state where the cognitive, behavioral and body functions are distorted because of a behavior or a substance. So, have we just been busy pointing fingers or have we tried to be part of the solution?

 

 

Vacancy announcement, Nurse wanted

Posted by:

Reachout Centre Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 24th Jan, 2003 our  main mandate is to provide harm reduction services, preventive and treatment services to those affected by or vulnerable to Alcohol, Drug Abuse (ADA) and HIV and AIDS in the Coastal area of Kenya.

Reachout is seeking to recruit a nurse to provide a high standard of client care to our target clients in accordance to clinical guidelines, policies, procedure quality standards and guidelines for nursing professional practice in Kenya.

Successful candidate will be stationed in our drop in centre in Taita Taveta County reporting to Drop in Centre Coordinator.

 

Responsibilities:

  1. Performing physical exams and taking health histories
  2. Providing health promotion, counseling and education
  3. Administering medications, wound care and other personalized interventions
  4. Interpreting patient information and making critical decisions about needed actions
  5. Coordinating care in collaboration with other health care professionals at the DIC
  6. Diagnosing the disease by analyzing patient’s symptoms and taking required actions for his/her recovery.
  7. Maintaining reports of patients’ medical histories, and monitoring changes in their condition.
  8. Carrying out the requisite treatments and medications.
  9. Providing necessary guidance on health maintenance and disease prevention.
  10. Recommending drugs and other forms of treatment

 

Requirements:

  1. KCSE certificate with grade C (Plain) and above ·
  2. Diploma in Kenya Community Health Nurse from a recognized medical training college in Kenya. ·
  3. Have at-least one year working experience in a busy health institution
  4. Registered and have a valid practicing license from the Nursing Council of Kenya
  5. Must be Computer Literate ·
  6. Must have knowledge of professional standards ·
  7. Have good interpersonal and communication skills

Applications should be made quoting the current and expected salary

Interested candidates should send their Applications; Curriculum Vitae, Cover letter and Scanned copies of Academic qualification to reachoutpwani@gmail.com CC info@reachout.or.ke before  22nd January 2018, hand delivery will NOT be accepted.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the way we work and we welcome and encourage applicants from all backgrounds.

 

Vacancy announcement, HTS Counselor wanted

Posted by:

 

Reachout Centre Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 24th Jan, 2003 our  main mandate is to provide harm reduction services, preventive and treatment services to those affected by or vulnerable to Alcohol, Drug Abuse (ADA) and HIV and AIDS in the Coastal area of Kenya.

Reachout is seeking to recruit a VCT Counselor with a high level of confidentiality targeting Key population to be stationed in our drop in centre in Taita Taveta County with minimal supervision from Centre Coordinator; the job holder will be responsible of providing quality counseling and testing services.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. Provide confidential HIV counseling and testing to persons at risk for HIV infection as per Kenya HTS national guidelines
  2. Conduct HTS using provider initiated testing and counseling, voluntary counseling and testing.
  3. Provide special group counseling e.g. Key population, discordant couples, youths and adolescents
  4. Address issues of behavior change in relation to HIV and ART
  5. Facilitate the delivery of HIV Prevention information to clients
  6. Provide psychosocial support and assist with linkage to referral services
  7. Assess and document all referrals make follow-up and report on referral outcomes
  8. Compile and submit monthly HTS reports
  9. Provide health education to outpatient clients as a strategy of mobilizing clients for HIV testing.

 

Requirements

  1. Proven work experience as a HTS Counselor
  2. Certificate in HTS Counseling (NASCOP CERTIFIED)
  3. Diploma in Community development will be an added advantage

Applications should be made quoting the current and expected salary.

Interested candidates should send their Applications; Curriculum Vitae, Cover letter and Scanned copies of Academic qualification to reachoutpwani@gmail.com CC info@reachout.or.ke before  22nd January 2018, hand delivery will NOT be accepted.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the way we work and we welcome and encourage applicants from all backgrounds.

 

Vacancy alert, Asst Project Coordinator required

Posted by:

 

Reachout Centre Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 24th Jan, 2003.  The main mandate is to provide harm reduction services, preventive and treatment services to those affected by or vulnerable to Alcohol, Drug Abuse (ADA) and HIV and AIDS in the Coastal area of Kenya, the main driving factor for its establishment were the growing empirical evidence of increased use and abuse of ADA particularly in the coastal areas of Kenya.

Reachout is seeking a highly organized and committed Asst Project Coordinator capable of successfully delivering diverse project activities with a high level of confidentiality, diplomacy and attention to detail targeting key population to be stationed in our drop in centre in Taita Taveta County with minimal supervision from the Project coordinator.

 

Asst Project Coordinator Responsibilities:

  • Coordinating project schedules, resources, information and activities
  • Liaising with clients to identify and define project requirements, scope and objectives
  • Ensuring that clients’ needs are met as the project evolves
  • Break projects into doable actions and set timeframes
  • Analyze risks and opportunities
  • Monitor project progress and handle any issues that arise
  • Act as the point of contact and communicate project status to all participants
  • Work with the Project Coordinator to eliminate blockers
  • Issue all appropriate legal paperwork (e.g. contracts and terms of agreement)
  • Create and maintain comprehensive project documentation, plans and reports

 

Requirements

 

  • Proven work experience as a Project Coordinator or similar role
  • Experience in project management, from conception to delivery
  • An ability to prepare and interpret flowcharts, schedules and step-by-step action plans
  • Solid organizational skills, including multitasking and time-management
  • Strong client-facing and teamwork skills
  • Familiarity with risk management and quality assurance control
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Basic Computer literacy
  • Hands-on experience with project management tools
  • BSc/Diploma in Project Management, Social Work or similar field

 

Interested candidates should send their Applications; Curriculum Vitae, Cover letter and Scanned copies of Academic qualification to reachoutpwani@gmail.com CC info@reachout.or.ke before  22nd January 2018, hand delivery will NOT be accepted.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the way we work and we welcome and encourage applicants from all backgrounds.

 

Stakeholders closeout meeting

Posted by:

 

 

We had the privilege to share our journey with our stakeholders on HIV Prevention program targeting People who use drugs through the partnership with Global fund through Kenya Red cross since 2015.
The meeting brought together Probation department, Religious leaders, NACADA, Media and other civil society organization to deliberate on the same and having a sustainability plan of the program.
The peer led program had reached to over 1500 People who inject drugs with array of services to curb HIV transmission among this key population, find attached details of the same in the presentation below.

SR CLOSE PRESENTATION TEMPLATE

Sensitization of Member of county assembly

Posted by:  /  Tags:

 

Reachout centre trust director Taib Abdulrahman address Members of

county assembly during the forum

 

The County Assembly is the legislative arm of the County Government which makes laws to govern certain operations; the assembly also has oversight responsibilities on the county’s operational activities. Among the mandated bestowed upon them in the Government of Kenya 2010 Constitution is; to Receives and approve plans and policies and approves the budget and expenditure of the County Government, through this Reachout centre Trust and its partners plans to involve the County assembly in implementation of by laws that will see alleviate the status of People who use drugs in Mombasa.

With the partnership of United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime  and the support from Open Society Foundation of Eastern Africa, we sensitized members of county assembly on evidence based interventions for people who use drugs.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Head Regional Health Programme Sylvie Bertrand addressed on the neglected People who use drugs with their concerns not addressed in a right manner as policies have been harsh on them not only in Kenya but around the Globe and better approach through Legislators is what UNODC, Civil society organization’s call.

The forum featured the Mombasa County Medically assisted therapy successes, challenges and lessons learnt since inception of the program back in 2015, Civil society organization led by RCT Director as we called of Harm reduction Intervention for People who use drugs, reform of by laws that hinders effective & efficient service provision to people with substance abuse disorder.

Methadone program

Since inception of the MAT program in Mombasa, the centre is currently serving more than 700 clients taking methadone, the program have seen a lot of people who were using drugs reforming and integrated back to the community, a number of them have been absorbed by civil society organization as peer educators, other have started their own income generating activities like; car washing, barber shop and drivers, they are even honesty with their clinicians and councilors and frequently open up on issues affecting them.

MAT Beneficiaries present during the meeting; Deborah and Fadhil as well shared their testimonials during their dark days, challenges they got when accessing health services, stigma and discrimination from the community and family members & harassment from the law enforcers, the beneficiaries conquered a lot has changed since they started taking Methadone.

Members agreed that a lot still need to be done to curb drug menace in Mombasa including; having more centers to cater for clients in different areas, already there’s a plan to start a centre in Mwembe Tayari and porteriz, there’s a need for MAT users to register themselves in groups and seek non-interest loans from the County Government to fight unemployment and relapsing and Members of county assembly should look into by laws that hinder access to service for people who use drugs and reform them

 

National Response for PWUD

Margret Njiraini from NASCOP took members of county assembly through punitive drug laws that continue to contribute in stigmatization and discrimination of PWUD, there is a need to focus less on obtaining convictions and more on preventing addictions (Demand Reduction).  They called members of the County assembly to seek by laws that would seek to be treat people with addictions, not handcuffing them.
Arresting, prosecuting and incarceration, placing under criminal justice supervision for a drug law violation, yet instead of reducing problematic drug use, drug-related disease transmission or overdose deaths, the drug war has actually done more harm than problematic drug use itself.

Njiraini as well adds that there’s 18,000 PWID Nationally, as part of Key population this group’s prevalence is  three times higher than the general public because of their risky behaviors of Injecting drugs and their sexual behaviors, community stigma and discrimination contributes to this as they don’t freely access health and other crucial services because they have been neglected.

Who is the Problem?

Posted by:  /  Tags: ,

 

Photo: Courtesy

Once an addict always an addict; it’s never going to change.” How many people believe this out there? It could be the addict, or the one affected by addiction in one way or the other, or someone who has never had firsthand experience in addiction (personally or through observation); but in ways more than one, many people do believe in this myth. Not because there is any logical explanation supporting this statement but because it has been repeated over and over again that it has left an imprint in our minds to an extent of becoming an actualization of the self-fulfilling prophesy of the myth. Some even believe that addicts have to hit rock bottom in order for any change to be contemplated upon.

But why is the society so focused on stigmatization that it tends to isolate addicts, making them feel that they do not belong with the rest? Why is it that as a society, we view an addict as the cause of the problem and not as someone manifesting symptoms of the problem? We are always so quick to judge because the predicament has not hit close to home and when it does, we are very silent, not uttering a single sound when we should be creating or raising awareness.

And why is drug addiction the only type of addiction you have in mind right now? I have not specified any category and yet some already assumed it is drug related. I don’t blame you; believe me, I wouldn’t even dare. It’s based on the fact that we cannot ignore the effects nurture has on us; the society wires us into thinking in certain perspectives that it makes it very challenging to openly think outside the tiny box. But don’t worry; Reachout Centre Trust’s got you.

If you are interested in any way, feel free to pop in by at our Drop in Centre in Old Town; but if your free time is limited in such a way that it makes it challenging to skedaddle to our office, we will use this platform to enlighten you to the best of our ability, regardless of the psychological issue presented. So frequently visit our site to get more updates.