New drugs utilisation response network to be launched tomorrow | 07 May 2018
A new network to share knowledge and experience in harm reduction and create networks at district level will be launched tomorrow.
Drugs Utilisation Response Network (DURNS) will target people who inject drugs, service providers, implementers and advocates for harm reduction, policy makers, district opinion leaders and government officials.
The HIV/Aids Support Organisation (Haso) will be conducting a one-day workshop under the theme ‘Creating dialogue for Harm Reduction in Seychelles’which is bringing together regional partners from Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Mauritius, Burundi and Seychelles the host country.
The Drug Utilisation Response Network Seychelles (DURNS) is a national peer-based organisation that seeks to promote the health and defend the rights of people who use drugs. It is a common knowledge that people who use drugs (PWUD) are some of the most commonly marginalised, criminalised citizens in any countries.
Seychelles is no exception. Moreover, they are also subjected to stigma, discrimination and, due to the illegality of drug use, often face legal sanctions or limited access to essential services.
DURNS is a creation of HIV/Aids Support Organisation (Haso), with funding from the Global Fund through KANCO, an Aids NGO consortium based in Nairobi, Kenya. It is registered by the government of Seychelles as a non-governmental organisation, mandated to carry out its objectives with clear goals as stated in its constitution.
DURNS is seeking attention and visibility among the people of Seychelles. The objectives and the goals of DURNS need to be understood clearly, its strategic and action plans that are ready to be rolled out is a real milestone. It aspires to unite the people who use drugs in Seychelles in the spirit of respect and dignity, exposing and challenging stigma, discrimination, and the criminalisation of people who use drugs that impede access to a comprehensive harm reduction services.
Drugs has touched every single home in Seychelles, the effect is far and large, socially and economically. The drug use effect is not going away any soon, it is here to stay. A call for the launch of the organisation is a step in the right direction. Drug issue is no longer a secret or personal, it is beyond bedroom affair it is the society’s matter, and there is a need to discuss it with sincerity and honesty. DURNS wants to achieve this through processes of empowerment and advocacy at all levels at any available forum from the individual, community, regional and national levels.
Being the national advocacy organisation, DURNS strives to promote the health and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by drug use by advancing harm reduction policies, practices and programmes that address the adverse effects of drug use including overdose, HIV, hepatitis C, addiction, and incarceration. While recognising that social inequality and injustice magnify drug-related harm and limit the voice of our most vulnerable communities, we want to work and uphold every individual’s right to health and well-being and their competence to take part in the public policy dialogue.