Egypt, Pakistan – November 2022 – The UNODC HIV/AIDS Section conducted two trainings on establishing and implementing OAT programmes for and with people who use drugs, based on the operational tool for low- and middle-income countries “Establishing and delivering evidence-based, high - quality opioid agonist services”. On November 7-8, Dr Monica Ciupagea (UNODC), Dr Andrew Scheibe (MBChB, Dip HIV Man, MPH) and Dr Andrej Kastelic (University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana) delivered an in-person training in Cairo, Egypt for 30 participants, and on November 17-18, Dr Monica Ciupagea (UNODC) and Dr Andrew Scheibe (MBChB, Dip HIV Man, MPH) delivered the online training for 40 participants from Pakistan. Trainings aimed to assist managers, physicians and drug treatment professionals to establish and deliver evidence-based, good quality, effective OAT services.
In 2022, to address these issues, UNODC, in collaboration with WHO, UNAIDS, the community of people who use drugs and international experts in the field, developed an operational tool “Establishing and delivering evidence-based, high-quality opioid agonist services” for low- and middle-income countries. The conducted trainings were based on this operational tool utilized a range of training methods and encouraged participatory approaches. The online trainings consisted of 4-hour of PowerPoint presentations, short pre-recorded videos, as well as live interactive elements, spread over two consecutive days (2.5 hours each day). The full-day training programme in Egypt has additionally included a combination of theoretical sessions with video examples from various countries, as well as sessions focusing on clinical cases and group exercises focusing on various aspects of the implementation of OAT.
Training participants had group discussions where they defined the main stakeholders that should be engaged in the national OAT programmes’ development and implementation, as well as the workforce that should be responsible for the programme application. The role of the OAT beneficiaries’ mental health and the importance of public-private collaboration as the core components of the programme were noted. More longitudinal measurements of the piloted OAT programmes in Egypt and Pakistan shall be conducted to further refine the programme's efficiency and scale it up. Strategic Information to inform advocacy and engage with different target groups (media, religious leaders, law enforcement, public etc.) is necessary. The training participants were very engaged in discussions and noted the importance of conducting further trainings on that topic in their respective countries and regions.