1. Background and pre-camp activities: A 15-day drug detoxification camp was organized by Kripa Foundation (UNODC Project H13 Partner NGO) in Chukitong, Nagaland from the 15-30 January 2007. This drug detoxification 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 camp the Kripa team along with its team leader Mr. Abou Mere was actively involved in a month long exercise which mainly included a needs assessment exercise in the community and preparatory camp activities aimed at sensitizing and preparing the community.
The needs assessment exercise also involved imperative activities like interaction with the community leaders, Church, village council members and the drug using communities which also led to the conclusion that there were over 300 drug users (mostly Injecting Drug User/s), hence justifying the need for a drug detoxification camp. Chukitong town was consequently selected as the site for this drug detoxification camp.
The "camp-detox approach" is part of the core scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (India) under the Government of India. In support of this approach, UNODC uses Low Cost Community-based Care and Support for drug users (LCCS) as an effective advocacy instrument to engage both drug users and the surrounding community to increase reach and quality of coverage to drug-using populations. This integrated LCCS approach is one of the significant processes adopted by UNODC's regional project (H13 "Prevention of transmission of HIV among drug users in the SAARC region" ) to draw upon trained human resources, which could help in scaling-up HIV interventions among injecting and oral opioid users. The project engages with governments and civil society through existing networks and structures for scaled-up responses to reach those most vulnerable and at high risk. LCCS thus addresses the adverse social, economic and health consequences of psychoactive substance use including vulnerabilities to STI/HIV, targeting population groups in resource-poor settings.
LCCS attempts to reach out to those drug users (including injecting drug users), who:
• are opioid and alcohol users and are at risk of transmission of STI/HIV through unsafe injecting as well as unsafe sexual practices, under the influence of psychoactive drugs.
• are far away from any institution-based addiction treatment (staying in remote areas).
• cannot afford to spare time to access the treatment (vulnerable women, daily wage earning drug users etc.).
• cannot afford the cost of addiction treatment.
• due to several relapses, do not have confidence on institution-based addiction treatment.
• have undergone successful addiction treatment but continue to undergo repeated relapse episodes due to negative community influences.
• are HIV positive, are clinically indicated to start anti-retroviral therapy and have been advised to start ART therapy.
LCCS is also recommended in situations where there is no in-patient addiction treatment facility or where, if a facility exists, it is inadequate to cater to the demand of addiction treatment in a particular geographical area.
Disclaimer: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
2. The camp:
A total of 21 clients were shortlisted for the camp based on the recruitment criteria's involving screening and related prerequisites as per the project guidelines. A routine along with a set of guidelines was established through a participatory approach wherein the clients and the Kripa team purposeful dialogue together. Throughout the 15 days of the camp the clients were actively involved in various therapeutic cum recreational activities like input /group discussions, prayers, sharing sessions, indoor games competition etc. The clients were also provided with quality medical support during the camp by the team of Dr Ngully, Director, Kripa Foundation and Dr. Dietho, Medical Officer, Kripa Foundation who monitored the health development of the clients. The clients responded well to the programme which encouraged the Kripa team to stop the medication for the clients on the 10th day of the camp.
On the final day of the camp, in the presence of Dr Ngully, Director, Kripa Foundation, the camp concluded with an awareness cum advocacy meeting with community stakeholders which included representatives of the church, village council, students union and women group/s . The meeting was aimed at creating an enabling environment by the community to help the drug users in the process of their recovery. Finally prizes were distributed amongst the camp beneficiaries.
Director, team leader and staff members of Kripa along with the camp beneficiaries
3. Highlights and learning's form the camp:
Four willing clients were admitted to Kripa Drug Rehabilitation Center for long term treatment.
Six clients could not complete the 15 days of the camp due to chronic health complications.
Key Community stakeholders/members like the church, village council, students union, women groups participated and provided voluntary support in the form of food, water, and fire woods.
The community members were also involved in providing assistance in camp activities like cooking, construction of toilets, fetching water etc.
4. Kripa Foundation's (Nagaland) Partnership with UNODC Project H13:
Kripa Foundation is partnering with UNODC under the Project H13 (Prevention of transmission of HIV among drug users in SAARC countries). The main goal of Kripa Foundation is "empowering those affected by chemical dependency and HIV/AIDS". It is one of the largest non-governmental organizations (NGO) in India helping people suffering from chemical dependency and HIV infection. Kripa offers a non-discriminating, supportive community living, thereby helping people to introspect and bring about changes in lifestyle.
As part of its association with Project H13, Kripa Foundation was actively involved in carrying out the RSRA (Rapid Situation and Response Assessment) activities at identified demonstration sites in Kohima (Nagaland) during the first phase of the project. Additionally, Kripa Foundation is also one of the eight regional mentors (i.e.RRTC) in India for the project and has been ably mentoring three partner NGOs for UNODC Project H13.
5. Moments from the camp
Dr.Ngully, Director Kripa Foundation, addressing community members and camp beneficiaries.
Mr. Abou Mere, Team Leader Kripa Foundation,addressing community members and camp beneficiaries.
The camp beneficiaries and peer staff of Kripa Foundation during a therapeutic session
Medical Screening in process
Indoor games and music ………
Community members helping in cooking
Young village boys helping by fetching water for the camp