Reducing drug use related harms.
The primary focus of the harm reduction services being provided by Nai Zindagi and its partners is to prevent transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B &C viruses. Transmission and prevalence rates of Hepatitis C (89%) and HIV (38%) among street based persons who inject drugs in Pakistan has reached pandemic proportions due to sharing of infected syringes/needles, lack of awareness on prevention and absence of quality HIV prevention services at scale.
Out reach services.
Are essential to reach out to pockets (hot spots) of high incidence of street based persons injecting drugs in a given geographical boundary (city/district) through mapping.
Prior to the initiation of services advocacy and awareness efforts are initiated to inform local communities of injecting related harms, HIV and the need for harm reduction services, to protect people and communities.
An evidence based comprehensive package of HIV prevention services developed over two decades in close consultation with people who use drugs and appropriate to our local context is implemented. Data of each registered client and services is recorded in real time in a web based MIS developed in-house by our team.
Syringe exchange services.
Provision of clean syringes and needles to persons injecting drugs and sharing infected syringes is an essential component of HIV prevention services.
The vast majority of people who inject drugs are poor, uneducated and unaware of injecting related harms. Providing awareness, knowledge and ways to prevent themselves from injecting related harms, without the provision of clean syringes and needles is not enough. Out reach teams reach out to at least 70% of people who inject drugs in a given geographical boundary and provide these services on a daily basis to reduce sharing.
Each person is provided syringes based on their daily injecting frequency and the number of days in a week they can access services.
Linkages have been developed with a wide range of referral services by Nai Zindagi and its partner organizations.
These linkages are in two tiers – with the Public sector to avoid duplication and maintain sustainability and with the Private sector for specialized referrals.
We work with provincial and district level Public sector, administration, health, law enforcement and social sectors for medical care, rights based services and an enabling environment for people who use drugs.
In the Private sector we link up with drug treatment services, on street abscess and wound management, nutrition, HIV and AIDS related diagnostics services and the corporate sector for community based support.