USAID launches a project "Scaling of substitution maintenance therapy for the treatment of drug addiction in Kazakhstan"

NGO "Aman-saulyk" within the framework of the program “Good Governance Initiative Fund”, realized by Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia under the financial support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID),  launched a project "Scaling of the substitution maintenance therapy (SMT) for the treatment of drug addiction and HIV prevention of in Kazakhstan".

It was announced at the press conference hosted in Almaty in April 25, 2017.

This project is a continuation of the cycle of projects carried out by NGO "Aman-saulyk" to expand the availability and sustainability of the SMT program in Kazakhstan aimed at combating HIV infection, stigma, and discrimination against intravenous drug users (IDU).

“Our organization starts the project, which received a financial support on the part of USAID through Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia. The project is about substitution therapy; it was launched in 2008 and through 2014 was realized as a pilot project in 7 oblasts and 10 cities of Kazakhstan. In partnership with the Ministry of Health we’ll continue this work. Our aim is to scale up project activities in Atyrau, Aktau, Almaty and Shymkent to host over there round tables, to monitor environment, to study possible barriers. Besides, we have a strong intention to widen the geography of the project and start working in Astana, Kokshetau, Kyzylorda, Petropavlosk and Taldykorgan”, - said Bakhyt Tumenova, President of NGO "Aman-saulyk".

She also mentioned that project was supported by the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MH RK) in partnership with The Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of the Ministry of Healthcare, the Republican Center for Prevention and Control of AIDS of the Ministry of Healthcare, and the ALE "Central Asian Association of PLWH".

 

Activities planned within the framework of the project:

§  Conducting regional Public hearings in the cities of Astana, Kokshetau, Kyzylorda, Petropavlovsk, and Taldykorgan. During the work of the regional Public hearings, the issues of SMT scaling up for the treatment of drug addiction and preventing HIV infection among IDU will be highlighted.

§  Conducting expert round tables in the cities of Aktau, Atyrau, Shymkent where regional public hearings were already held in 2016. During the work of expert round tables, the issues of opening SMT locations for the treatment of drug dependence and HIV prevention among IDU will be discussed.

§  Conducting the final Round Table in Almaty to discuss recommendations on amending the regulatory framework and the issues of SMT scaling up for the treatment of drug addiction and HIV prevention among IDU.

§  After the completion of the Expert roundtables, press conferences for journalists will be held.

§  Development and submission of recommendations on introducing changes/amendments to the regulatory framework to the Ministry of Healthcare of Kazakhstan

§  Contest among journalists for the best coverage of the project in the media, followed by the presentation of certificates and cash prizes to the winners in 3 nominations.

 

The project is designed to raise public awareness about the expansion of substitution therapy as an effective method of reducing HIV infection and drug crime.

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