Moldova focused on getting results:

Training of 50 on "Case Management Approach to

Opioid Substitution Therapy"

The UNODC Project Office in Moldova, in cooperation with the Pompidou Group / Council of Europe, organized training on Case Management Approach to Pharmacotherapy with Methadone in Moldova on April 15-17 2013. Governmental partners from the National Narcology Centre and the Department of Penitentiary Institutions and civil society organizations, such as "Positive Initiative" , also contributed actively to ensure this event was made possible.  The training was conducted in the context  " UNODC-OFID Partnership on Effective HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care among Vulnerable Groups in Central Asia and Eastern Europe " project.

The training could not have been more timely.  In Moldova, fewer new patients are enrolled in opioid substitution therapy (OST) programmes and the number of drop-out cases is growing.  All the while, national stakeholders, concerned with the anticipated withdrawal of Global Fund support, are questioning the overall sustainability of OST programme.

In 2012, an assessment  was conducted to map the common barriers to implementing effective OST programme in both the community and  in prison in Moldova. A number of recommendations were made, but especially the need to establish a multidisciplinary approach to address the medical and psychosocial needs of OST patients stood out.

This training, facilitated by Dr. Andrej Kastelic, OST specialist from Slovenia, and by Dr. Ausra Sirvinskiene, case management specialist from Lithuania, was an important step toward the development of a more holistic approach, a recommendation of the assessment conducted in 2012.

A total of fifty people took part in the training, including  narcologists, psychologists, university lecturers and social workers. The participatory training sessions enabled participants to clearly discern the practical steps that need to be taken when looking after the needs of patients.

Participants practiced case management methods to motivate opiate users to enter and follow through their treatments. In the sessions, common stereotypes about methadone treatment were challenged, showcasing evidence-based medical findings that clearly demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of OST in halting drug use and transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C.

For more information on the training results and UNODC activities in Moldova please contact Ina Tcaci, UNODC National HIV/AIDS Officer in Moldova through +373 22 854 099 fax: 373 22 854 098, e-mail: ina.tcaci@unodc.org