IDUF board members participated in the UNGASS on Drugs: A Civil Society’s Dialogue at the Hotel Royal Plaza, New Delhi on 3rd March 2016 organised by UNAIDS. IDUF President shared ANPUD regional position paper. Secretary shared the minutes of the think tank meeting held at UNAIDS HQ Geneva.
IDUF President and Secretary attended community and Civil society consultation with Director General NACO & Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health, organized by UNAIDS in Hotel Royal Plaza, New Delhi. On the 4th March 2016. During the meeting President questioned the wisdom of NACO the reason for not creating ART centres in all sub division and districts to make easy access of ART and other health care need.
Further the Secretary raise the question of wisdom of Haryana SACS for discontinuing almost all targeted intervention except for 6 NGO. There was not satisfactory response from the NACO officials.
IDUF President Mr. Abou Mere attended the 65th meeting of the India Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and advocated for endorsement of the regional proposal approval for PWID and got approval the same from CCM India.
IDUF President Mr. Abou Mere stressed the need for Community Strengthening components having such programmes will help increase access to harm reduction services and strengthened community systems for people who inject drugs, to reverse the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs and their partners, facilitating the progress to zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
As community presentative the President of IDUF spoke on the role of the community in MMT implementation in the NACO and Nossal Institute’s Technical Consultation on OST with Methadone on the 8th April, 2016 at India Habitat Centre New Delhi and advocate for MIPUD in MMT implementation. From IDUF the consultation was attended by Mr Abou Mere – President, Ms Nini Pakma – Vice President, Charanjit Sharma – Secretary and Mr Simon board member of IDUF.
Excerpts from the presentation: Today the role of key populations are more relevant than ever before, community efforts have proven critical in overcoming many challenges in the AIDS response, including improving HIV programme and scaling up services.
I on behalf of PUDs request NACO to involve People who Use Drugs (PUD) and scale up MMT asplanned. Involve PUDs in policy (and programming, assessment/evaluation team to scale up MMT. Here we not discussing about rocket science, it is harm reduction science and harm reduction sciences have abundant evidence and document that Involving drug users leads to better identification of needs and planning, and to higher- quality service.
Despite the wide recognition of the important role of the communities in responding effectively to HIV programme, Meaningful Involvement of People who Use Drugs (MIPUD) in policy and programming in India still remain minimal. In the current implementation of MMT in India, the involvement of drug using community is non-existent that resulted in lack of ownership among the community members. The demand of MMT from the community still remains poor, due to lack of sensitization with regard to ‘demand generation and MMT literacy among IDUs’. Criminalisation of drug users is also another factor that puts the PWID more hidden and unable to come openly and access the OST service. Building leadership is critical in any community-led initiative. The success of MMT intervention will greatly depend on empowering PUDs with knowledge on the MMT with strong leadership qualities who can inspire fellow peers and effectively lead to demand and success of the program.
IDUF President Mr. Abou Mere participated in the “Impact of FTAs and BITs on Access to medicine on the 9th -10th April 2016 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Secretary could only attend the second half of the first day due to ongoing committed assignment of international harm reduction training academy as facilitator which was attended by participants from 8 countries.