Eastern Africa Harm Reduction Regional Meeting held in Kenya

On March 27, 2013, the Eastern Africa Harm Reduction Regional Meeting was held in the coastal province of Kenya.

The objective of the meeting was to share experiences from the various harm reduction regions and to discuss on strengthening organizational development for a resilient harm reduction network which will cover the Eastern Africa region.

The major outcome of the meeting was that all the attending countries and organizations including Tanzania's: MdM, Mukikute, TaNPUD, Uganda's: Ugandan Harm Reduction Network, Zanzibar, Mauritius's: CUT and Dr. Idrice treatment centre and Kenya agreed to establish and sustain a regional harm reduction network. It was noted that some work had already started way back on such a network on Sub-Saharan Africa by HRI in 2007. A small taskforce team of 5 from the countries represented at the meeting will work further on key shaping documents for the network.

This forum exposed the need to have stronger networking in the region since countries like Zanzibar and Uganda were still to incorporate harm reduction interventions in their setting. Ugandan counterparts reported that they are not aware of any research in Uganda that had specifically targeted IDUs and asked for technical support to contribute to response on drug use menace.

On the second day of the meeting field visits to coastal pilot NSP sites in Ukunda, Mombasa and Malindi were organized for all participants: different attending countries and the Government of Kenya.