25 March 2016 - To improve knowledge and understanding of legal and regulatory issues surrounding provision of opioid substitution therapy services, UNODC Ukraine organised three trainings in Kharkiv, Poltava and Kyiv for medical staff.
"The importance of opioid substitution therapy (OST) in responding to the HIV epidemic among people who use drugs cannot be overestimated," said UNODC HIV Advisor in Ukraine, Mirzahid Sultanov.
However in many cases, staff in OST sites have insufficient knowledge of the legal aspects of their work and feel insecure offering these services to people who use drugs, he added.
Some 100 representatives attended the one-day training sessions held in Kharkiv, Poltava and Kyiv (25 March), Poltava (23 March) and Khariv (2 March).
During the trainings, conducted with participation of experts in drug control, participants also received The Handbook on providing OST services in Ukraine", a practical manual developed by UNODC Ukraine in 2015.
The manual contains legal and regulatory guidelines related to managing controlled substances in medical facilities and the responsibilities and rights of OST service providers.
This training was an initiative of a five-year USAID funded project on Penitentiary, Law Enforcement and Drugs sector Government Efficiency in HIV response in Ukraine (HIV-PLEDGE), implemented by the UNODC Programme Office in Ukraine, since 2011.
The project aims to strengthen the role and accountability of law enforcement, drug control, public health and penitentiary sectors in the HIV response.
UNODC Ukraine provides advisory and technical assistance to the Government of Ukraine in designing and delivering human rights-based and evidence-informed HIV interventions for people who inject drugs (PWID) and people in prisons.