Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) held International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death, by carrying out several activities in educating the public and community about the overdose. Activities were conducted in collaboration with government agencies and NGOs specifically targeting public, inmates and people who inject drugs.
With the purpose to provide information on overdose to the general public in Malaysia, an article was published in Utusan Malaysian mainstream newspaper on September, 2nd in Health column. The article ilustrated the risk of overdose and steps to follow when overdose happens and information on overdose prevention. It also contained the interview with Dr Norliza Chemi, psychiatrist specializing in addiction from Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Ms Malini Sivapragasam, CAHR Country Manager.
MAC also conducted on-site mini training on overdose for 13 outreach workers working in harm reduction programmes.
A discussion was held in collaboration with the Prison Agency in Seremban targeting inmates. Considering the number of overdose incidents often reported among newly released PWID from prison, this talk addressed the importance of overdose prevention and drug use. Approximately 100 inmates attended this talk.
On 29th August, the CAHR Manager was hosted at a local radio station in Kawangware, the 2nd largest drug using den in Nairobi, in order to build awareness on overdose prevention. This station is popular among residents of Kawangware because it uses local language (street language) and has ownership particularly with youth (18-35 year old). The radio broadcasted discussion on overdose, how to detect opioid overdose, management of overdose using Naloxone and finally how overdose can be prevented. This elicited curiosity from the listeners and they called in the station seeking clarification.
Another CAHR partner in Ukunda, Teenswatch Centre did a write up and submitted to journalist on 31st August, 2014 on Overdose management and prevention for the International Overdose Awareness day. In preparedness for the day, Teenswatch trained 15 peer educators, 4 outreach workers and their clinical officer on overdose management and prevention. On the 31st August, 2014 the team held four sessions with the communities, people who use drugs, church ground and local administration police geared towards sensitizing communities and the PWID themselves on risks of overdose, how to prevent and management in case of an overdose case, the management component was demonstrated using Naloxone.
Muslim Education and Welfare Association, CAHR implementing partner in Kilifi, trained outreach workers on first aid and overdose management using Naloxone ahead of the International Overdose Awareness Day. MEWA reports that since the training of pathfinders (peer educators) and PWID on overdose management and prevention - reported cases of overdose have significantly reduced (1 case since April).