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The COVID pandemic has had a major impact on people who use drugs across the world. Services have had to downsize or close to accommodate new safety measures. In times like these, Mainline is grateful for the flexibility that Bridging the Gaps offers to partners in this programme. A powerful example is the work of MEWA in Mombasa, Kenya.

During a major COVID outbreak they reached many people outside of their normal client group of people who inject drugs. Outreach workers not only spoke about Corona with their service users, they simultaneously sensitised a large number of street-based children and part of the general public about the virus. In doing so, they instantly showed a need among these kids in particular: a group who often smoke or chew their drugs. 

MEWA managed to secure funding to broaden this work through the Kenyan Ministry of Labour and Social protection and the WHO. Out of the 100 street-children MEWA reached they now provide shelter, nutrition, medical assistance and rehabilitation services to 48 of them. In times of crisis, the flexibility that Bridging the Gaps allows led to an important expansion of services. 


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