Capacity building workshop for drug users’ network in Kenya

On January 21-23, 2013, INPUD’s Programme Coordinator Mick Webb, alongside a leading member of Kenyan Network of People who Use Drugs (KeNPUD) Tinga Kalafa, delivered a capacity building workshop for 24 participants from KeNPUD in Kawangware district in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of the workshop was to revisit the network’s mission, vision, aims and objectives.

KeNPUD was initially seeded in June 2012 and has since become a registered community based organisation based in Nairobi. Community outreach is one of the principal activities carried out by its core members and includes giving support to members living with HIV/AIDS in adhering to, and complying with ARV treatment regimes. The group’s membership is diverse, comprising primarily of injecting drug users, drug using sex workers, and drug using MSM.

KeNPUD’s mission is to contribute to a society that doesn’t stigmatize or discriminate against people who use drugs, and to have open access to quality and comprehensive health care services. For the drug using community to be recognised as equal partners in the development of harm reduction services.

KeNPUD’s vision is to live in a country that respects the health and human rights of people who use drugs.

KeNPUD’s aims are to provide peer to peer education on information regarding safe injecting, BBV transmission, safe sex, STIs, to provide peer based NSP by distributing sterile injecting equipment, collecting and safely disposing of used equipment within the Kawangware district of Nairobi. KeNPUD also aims to provide peer to peer condom use demonstrations and distribution, initiating peer led support groups for people who use drugs living with HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C, STIs, TB, blood borne viruses and other related infections, and to provide community outreach and support groups for people using drugs who are sex workers and men having sex with other men, to provide home based care for people on ARV/combination therapy regimes. The network will record all instances of stigma and discrimination experienced while seeking health care and other services, and support the development of evidence based advocacy messages for meaningful involvement in local policy development, service delivery and monitoring of harm reduction service.

INPUD is working closely with KeNPUD throughout these early development stages to ensure the role bearers and leader feel supported. KeNPUD is energised and active, but still have significant problems preventing organisational growth and sustainability. Effective involvement and support from the CAHR partners (KANCO, INPUD and IDPC) will play a pivotal role in this networks' future.

INPUD will be supporting KeNPUD in the further development of strategy and in building relations with Médecins du Monde (MdM) and KANCO, and in maintaining operations until the MdM drop-in center is available for use.

INPUD working with KeNPUD and the newly formed Tanzanian network are planning Africa’s first ever drug user conference scheduled for late 2013 in the coastal region of Kenya. This exciting landmark project is supported by KANCO and Médecins du Monde, and marks the launch of an East African Network of People who Use Drugs.

The group was highly animated and participated actively and consistently throughout the workshop. One of participant said: “I feel network members now share common focus in representing the voice of the people who use drugs.