Developing a pilot programme to prevent transitions to injecting in Kenya

Since the start of needle and syringe exchange programme in Kenya, harm reduction practitioners in the country discussed the need to reach those who use drugs but do not inject at the moment with services aiming to prevent HIV. Staff of harm reduction programmes supported by KANCO mentioned that people who do not inject drugs at this moment preferring alternative routes of drugs administration feel excluded from the programme, despite the fact that they have an access to testing, counselling and harm reduction advice.

During the field visit to Nairobi in March 2015, Maryna Braga from Regional Technical Support Hub for Eastern Europe and Central Asia together with James Nmbidi from KANCO conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with people who use drugs and staff of MdM drop-in centre and NOSET, Teenswatch from Ukunda and KeNPUD also organized several FGDs. The aim of group discussions was to assess the needs of people who use drugs and understand the issue of transitioning to injecting better.

On 6th March 2015 KANCO organized a meeting of organisations interested to start the pilot intervention as well as people who use drugs. Representatives from KANCO, KeNPUD, MdM Kenya, Teenswatch and NOSET reviewed results of FGD and developed a preliminary framework for the intervention and further action plans.