Refresher harm reduction workshop in Kenya

From 14 till 16 August, 2013 KANCO together with Médecins du monde (MdM) and Kiev TS Hub organised a workshop Enhancing harm reduction services in Kenya.

The aim of the workshop which took place in Mombasa was to improve knowledge of 20 outreach workers from organisations supported by KANCO as a part of CAHR project on key harm reduction components and approaches; discuss barriers in implementation of harm reduction projects and look for possible solutions to current problems.

The workshop for outreach workers, outreach supervisors and M&E officers was facilitated by Dr. Zin Mar Han (MdM), Sylvia Ayon (KANCO) and Marina Braga (Kiev TS Hub). Participants got acquainted with the new approaches and services in harm reduction, practiced counselling skills and developed a list of monitoring and evaluation tools for harm reduction programme in Kenya.

Particular attention was paid to analysis of current problems and discussions of approaches to overcome them. The key problems mentioned by participants were big distances that outreach workers cover and difficulties in services provision to people in different sites; police harassment towards clients and outreach workers; safety in outreach; disposal and poor return rate of used commodities; low adherence to ARV and TB treatment among drug users. By the end of the workshop participants from each organisation developed an action plan which they are going to implement upon return to their organisations.

Participants were actively involved in all the sessions, participated in the discussions and role plays, and were interested in the topics covered. Sessions on methadone maintenance therapy, overdose prevention and management and SyrEx use raised a particular interest among workshop participants.