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Workshop On Harm Reduction For Injecting Drug Users Held


The two days, district level workshop on harm reduction for injecting drug users in Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts of Manipur on the theme “Harm reduction services to sustain HIV/AIDS Intervention programme” concluded on Wednesday at Zimik Plaza Hall, Viewland Ukhrul.

TFM Ukhrul Correspondent

Jointly organised by District Administration of Ukhrul, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit Ukhrul (DAPCU) Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS), Technical Support Unit (TSU), MACS and Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO) with support from ITECH, India, the two day District level workshop on harm reduction for injecting drug users in Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts of Manipur that kickstarted on 22 February concluded on Wednesday at Zimik Plaza Hall, Viewland, Ukhrul.

The two days workshop was opened by AC to DC Ukhrul, Y. Sher Singh who is also the SDO of Chingai Sub-Division.

Welcome and keynote address was delivered by DACO of Ukhrul, Dr. Yuithingla Vashum and Jt. Director (CST) MACS, Dr Lucy Duidang elebaorated on the overview of NACP programme in Manipur and status of the programme in Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts. Deepak Kshetrimayum (STC) spoke on harm reduction concept and challenges to the adoption of harm reduction policies.

In the days two, the workshop was attended by Project Director MACS, Rosita Haobam (IAS) who is also the Secretary Health, Government of Manipur, Jt. Director (DI) MACS, M. Abhiram, CMO of Kamjong, Dr. Nilakanta and other officials from I-TECH, DAPCU, CONE and STC.

The workshop mainly focuses on
1. To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS
2. Implementing OST(Opioid Substitution Therapy) programs in the district through satellite centres
3. Launching of ‘project sunrise’ in the district

One of the facilitator shared that “after using different kind of drugs, youth in Manipur have started using or injecting locally available drugs. Youth have started injecting raw opium which is easily available in the State.”

Dr. Nilakanta while delivering on the topic role of community in strengthening harm reduction programme stated that “Drug overdose mortality has become a fashion on Manipur. Manipur has thousands of drug users or injectors. Harm reduction for injecting drug users and creating more awareness to the community is the need of the hour. ” He also stressed on the need for enrollment of dug users or injectors so that the drug user number is controlled and does not spread to others.

“Dignity and respect of the drug users or injectors should be redeemed through exemplary life. Many drug addict have given up their habits and lead a normal and succesful life. CSOs should create a platform whereby drug users can shake off his old habit. Saving lifes of drug users has become one of the greatest challenge to mankind of this era” added one of the facilitator.

Overview of project sunshine activities and new initiatives in Manipur was elaborated by Senior Programme Officer (Manipur) I-TECH, Naorem Jiten. The two days workshop was participated by CSOs and NGOs from Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts.

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