MENAHRA is inviting you to its 1st webinar in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected implementation of harm reduction programmes. The pandemic has drastically impacted the quality and delivery of harm reduction services, and stakeholders are struggling to ensure sustainable services during this period.
People who inject drugs are more vulnerable to contracting HIV and hepatitis C; they also do not receive enough medical attention in their treatments. Although the MENA region is estimated to have one of the lowest HIV prevalence rates in the world (<0.1%), HIV/AIDS-related deaths remain high (8000 in 2020) and only 38% of people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Regarding hepatitus C, it is estimated that the MENA region has the highest rates per capita in the world, with approximately 20% of the total number of people who have contracted the infection residing there. In addition, in 2020, it was estimated that there are more than 200,000 people who inject drugs living with chronic hepatitis C with one third of these localised in Iran.
Funding for harm reduction initiatives remains a major obstacle for countries in the MENA region. They have all reported decreased levels of funding since 2018, with Morocco being the sole exception. The main international donors reported by stakeholders supporting harm reduction are the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), and the Drosos Foundation.
#COVID19 and the impact on #druguse and #harmreduction programming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
Professor Marie Claire Van Hout and Ms. Patricia Haddad
Feb 22, 2021 12:00 PM Beirut