DUSHANBE – Representatives of government, public and international organisations of Tajikistan will gather at a round-table to discuss the access to treatment and social rehabilitation of people who use drugs. The round-table will take place on June 18, 2013 at the conference hall of “Istiklol” hotel in Dushanbe. The event is a joint initiative of the State Drug Control Agency under the President of Tajikistan and AFEW International.
The round-table is dedicated to the International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking and will focus on the issues around drug use: blood borne diseases, treatment and rehabilitation for people who use drugs. Government organisations will present the current epidemiological situation on HIV and tuberculosis and look at the legislation related to provision of rights to healthcare and social support to people who use drugs.
Besides, representatives of public organisations that directly work with people who use drugs and provide them with various medical and social services will highlight the issues of availability of and access to harm reduction programmes.
Opiod Substitution Therapy (OST) runs in Tajikistan since 2010. There are currently three OST sites operating in Dushanbe, Khujand and Khorog. They enroll a total of 250 people, and in autumn 2013 a new site will open in Qurgonteppa (Kurgan-Tyube, Khatlon region).
Syringe exchange programme is also available in Tajikistan. By the end of 2011 there were 49 needle and syringe exchange sites available throughout the country. Nearly 2.200.000 needles/syringes were distributed among almost 16.000 people who use drugs.
During the round-table AFEW International will present the new medical web portal http://www.afew.tj/. The new resource is meant to increase the access of local medical specialists to scientific information about prevention of infectious diseases. Besides, any website visitor could address his health related questions to a pool of specialists in various spheres of healthcare.
The round-table will become an additional opportunity to coordinate activities on harm reduction programmes. The round-table will be held in the framework of “Bridging the Gaps – Health and Rights of Key Populations” project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.