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Tanzania

Harm reduction in Tanzania: a delicate balance

Under the Bridging the Gaps 2 programme, Mainline aspires to support harm reduction services in Tanzania. To fully understand the opportunities, needs and socio-political circumstances, Mainline organised two scoping visits in 2016. The situation for people who use drugs in the United Republic of Tanzania is delicate.

With the election of a new president in July 2016, many established guidelines for working with key populations and NGOs are being revisited and revised. The approved new guidelines around key populations and HIV should be made public by the beginning of 2017. The revisions are causing some uncertainty because it’s unclear, for example, whether the guidelines around Needles and Syringe Programmes (NSP) might be altered.


Tanzania has fulfilled a leading role in the East African region by introducing an exceptionally successful harm reduction programme – including a strong NSP component and methadone distribution in Dar es Salaam. However, the continuation of this great work is not certain as recent incidents show. For example, the new president, since taking office, has outlawed lubricants in an effort to discourage men from having sex with men. It is very possible that similar decisions will be made where it concerns service delivery for people who use drugs.

Based on our visits, Mainline sees ample opportunities to partner with local partners in cities such as Dar es Salaam, Mwanza or Tanga. The need for targeted services that prevent the spread of HIV is high. The estimates around HIV prevalence range – depending on the study – from 15.5%, among people who inject drugs, up to a staggering 68% among women who inject drugs. The scale-up of harm reduction services to effectively curb this epidemic is urgently needed.


Presently, Mainline is waiting to hear how the revised guidelines will affect the options to deliver services for key populations, such as people who use drugs. Mainline hopes the past accomplishments of the United Republic of Tanzania in the field of harm reduction won’t be reversed. If service delivery is allowed to continue, Mainline is keen to contribute and put in our best efforts for the benefit of the health of people who use drugs.

Our current projects


internationaal

Bridging the Gaps2: 2016 - 2020

Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Tanzania (new!)

The Bridging the Gaps programme is awarded a second phase of funding by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bridging the Gaps 2 started in January 2016 and continues to 2020. The shared goals remain the same as the first programme: to improve the health and rights of people who use drugs, sex workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

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internationaal

Nepal

Nepal has a long history of drug use. Cannabis is sanctioned for use on certain religious occasions. The use of smoked opium has been quite common in the country. But drug use only began to be seen as a problem in the country in the mid-1960s and early 1970s with the influx of travelling hippies from Europe and the US.

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internationaal

Georgia

Transition management in Georgia: everyone deserves a second chance!

Everyone deserves a second chance in life. But how can you best support people who were just released from prison? What does quality support look like where it comes to the rehabilitation and resocialisation of inmates, former inmates and probationers? And what level of additional support does a person who uses drugs need in this process? A new project in Georgia intends to set the standard.

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internationaal

Indonesia

Mainline has a long, positive track record in Indonesia. We’ve invested in direct service delivery for drug users in East Kalimantan for many years. In 2015, we started to collaborate and support three very promising new partners in West Java.

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internationaal

South Africa

The main drugs of choice in South Africa are alcohol, cannabis, heroin and methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is locally known as tik. Most heroin is smoked mixed with cannabis, a popular mix called whoonga, cocktail or nyope. Heroin injection, however, has been increasing in recent years. 

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internationaal

Innovations in Pakistan

Harm reduction programmes to improve the health and rights of People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) show similarities all over the world. In countries where PWUD lack access of quality harm reduction services; are being criminalised; and human rights are being violated, Mainline works hard to promote health and rights to the often ostracised and hidden populations. 

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internationaal

Kenya

Kenya (population 45 million) is an East-African country on the Indian Ocean that borders Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, South-Sudan and Ethiopia.

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internationaal

Tanzania

Harm reduction in Tanzania: a delicate balance Under the Bridging the Gaps 2 programme, Mainline aspires to support harm reduction services in Tanzania. To fully understand the opportunities, needs and socio-political circumstances, Mainline organised two scoping visits in 2016. The situation for people who use drugs in the United Republic of Tanzania is delicate.

> Read more
nationaal

The Netherlands

Tina and Slamming in a sexual setting

Mainline, together with SOA Aids Nederland, presented: 'Tina and Slamming'. This report addresses the use of methamphetamine (crystal meth or tina) and slamming (intravenous use) as a route of administration, by men who have sex with men (MSM), in a sexual setting - also known as chemsex.

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Our finished projects

internationaal

Bridging the Gaps1: 2011 - 2015

Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Tanzania (BtG2)

In the context of the Bridging the Gaps program, Mainline works with local partners in five countries to improve the health and human rights of drug users.

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internationaal

Georgia

Back to Society

Over two years ago, a new government came to power in Georgia. Many prisoners were then released at a rapid pace. They were not well prepared for their release and encountered problems with reintegration. Among these persons were many who use drugs.

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nationaal

The Netherlands & Belgium

Prevention of GHB overdose

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the number of young people frequently using gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has been rising. GHB is used in nightlife. It is estimated that in the Netherlands alone there is a group of 22,000 people who use GHB daily and who have developed a strong physical dependence on GHB.

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internationaal

Georgia

Hepatitis C care for PUD

From 2014 till 2015 Mainline, together with its local partner Tanadgoma, implemented a series of interventions around Hepatitis C (HCV). The aim of the project was to understand the gaps and barriers to enrolment in the care cascade of hepatitis C prevention and treatment from the community perspective.

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nationaal

The Netherlands

Strong connections between use of drugs and unsafe sex work

On the initiative of Mainline, Prostitutie & Gezondheidscentrum 292 / Prostitution & Health Centre 292, P&G292 carried out a survey of male and transgender sex workers between November 2013 and February 2014 in close cooperation with the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD).

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internationaal

South Africa

Tikking the Boxes

Until 2014, Mainline worked on the project Tikking the Boxes in South Africa. Since January 2015, South Africa has been participating in the Bridging the Gaps programme.

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