Presenting results of Community Action on Harm Reduction programme during International Harm Reduction Conference

Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR) programme was widely presented during the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference which took place on 18-21 October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hosted by Harm Reduction International and Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) which is the lead partner of CAHR project in Malaysia, the Conference allowed demonstrating successful implementation of the programme through different channels.

A number of sessions gave a chance to make oral presentations describing results of interventions and studies implemented as a part of CAHR programme:

  • Harnessing harm reduction: Community Action on Harm Reduction Programme review in Malaysia by Malini Sivapragasam (MAC).
  • Harm Reduction saves and improves lives; Findings of Increased quality-of-life for people who inject drugs in the Hridaya impact assessment study in selected Indian states by Viswanathan Arumugam (India HIV/AIDS Alliance).
  • The challenges of outreach workers in the implementation of the Needle and Syringe Exchange programme in Malaysia by Azlinda Azman (MAC).
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and psychosocial support service for PWUD inmates in Malaysia by Ramthan Mazlimi (MAC).
  • Community based outreach for people who inject drugs in Kenya by Andy Guise (LSHTM).
  • Transitions to injecting heroin in Kenya: research findings, community perspectives and implications for programming by James Ndimbii  (KANCO).
  • Peer driven intervention reaches hard to reach populations of people who inject drugs (PWID) in China by Thomas Cai (AIDS Care China).
  • Effects of take-home methadone service on treatment compliance and heroin use reduction for methadone maintenance treatment clients by Zhihua Yan (AIDS Care China).

Series of poster presentations also demonstrated lessons learnt from the programme.

During the dialogue space meeting Charanjit Sharma (India HIV/AIDS Alliance) and Mat Sothwell (CoAct) launched The Good practice guide for employing people who use drugs which can be accessed here www.cahrproject.org/resource/good-practice-guide-for-employing-people-who-use-drugs/

It draws on the experience of CAHR partners and also other harm reduction organisations that have pioneered the employment of PWUD.

Another dialogue space meeting was devoted to the discussion of peer based needle exchange programme. This session was done in technical support collaboration between CoAct, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance Community Action on Harm Reduction programme and the UK National Needle Exchange Forum. CoAct has also produced a series of videos documenting examples of peer based NSP with injectingadvice.com which can be viewed here http://co-act.info/index.php/resources/peer-led-nsp-project

During the partnership meeting which took place on 21 October, people involved into implementation of 4 years programme could discuss its achievements, challenges and identify further steps for further development.

Reception at the Dutch Embassy gave a chance to representatives from the countries meet the funder of the programme and present the short film showing the key results. The film can be viewed here http://www.cahrproject.org/news/community-action-on-harm-reduction-film/