The UNODC Regional Office for South Asia is supporting a regional project titled
"Prevention of transmission of HIV among Drug Users in SAARC Countries" (RAS/H13)
that is being implemented in partnership with the governments of the member countries of the SAARC region.
The three pillars of the project are capacity building, ensuring gender sensitivity and sustainability beyond project life.
Society for Health Education (SHE), a non-governmental organisation in Maldives is being supported by the project to work closely with the "larger community" at the demonstration sites and create an enabling environment to carry out health Camps for recovering/current drug users and their regular sex partners at the demonstration sites. Established in 1988 by a group of women, the aim of SHE is to improve the quality of life of the Maldivians, by raising awareness on health and social issues. SHE has managed to build up an institution that is capable of providing a range of services using local expertise.
On 23 May 2008, the first ever health camp was organized by SHE in collaboration with the Project H13 and National Narcotics Control Board (NNCB).
This health camp was organized using the Project H13 (UNODC) protocol on
Low Cost Community Based Care and Support (LCCS) as part of the comprehensive package of service delivery aimed at the prevention of transmission of HIV amongst vulnerable drug using populations especially injection drug users (IDU).
Prior to the initiation of camp, information was disseminated within the selected community through the staff members of SHE and through a series of advocacy meetings aimed at mobilising/involving community members and resources. These advocacy meetings also helped to disseminate information among the community members on the purpose and scope of the health camp.
The SHE team in consultation with important/influential community members including local corporate giants like the
Dhiraagu finalised the venue, logistics and a campaign plan to reach out to most unreached populations from the islands.
The health camp was very successful which was evident from the high number of attendees/visitors and participation of key stakeholders including police, corporates (Dhiraagu), NGOs/CBOs, government agencies (health, youth, education & employment) and international agencies like the Global Fund.
No. of people who participated
Participatory exercises conducted during the camps for public engagement:
1.1 Risky Behaviour Game.
The goal of the game was to make the participants understand how drug injecting may contribute to an increased incidence of HIV infection and also how HIV can be transmitted through sexual contacts between drug injectors and non-injectors.
24 people participated in this activity.
1.2 Dice Game
This game can be played by a few people or by a number of people. The objective of the game was to give factual information on HIV and drug use related information.
The game gave opportunities for participants to ask questions from the facilitator/s about
their concerns and clarify the answers.
1.3 Balloon Game
This activity was to facilitate participants to gain information and share their ideas and views about drug use and HIV/AIDS
1.4 Agree/Disagree game
This game promoted an interactive exchange of information and explores the values and attitudes related to issues such as sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse.
1.5 High Risk Low Risk No Risk