On May 21, Alliance for Public Health (Alliance) together with Zaporizhia branch of the Network of PLWH held a training “National Police, Harm Reduction and Human Rights” for officers of the regional unit of the Department for Countering Drug-Related Crime of the National Police of Ukraine of the Main Administration of the National Police in Zaporizhia oblast (covering Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia oblasts).
Alliance in partnership with Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN) continues conducting educational activities to raise the level of awareness of people working in the National Police on the need to respect human rights of the participants of harm reduction/HIV prevention programs. Earlier, similar training events have already been held in Lviv, Kharkiv and Vinnytsia oblasts.
During the one-day training, the participants were familiarized with national legislation and international recommendations, justifying the need in and the importance of harm reduction and opioid substitution treatment (OST) programs, and also with the important medical components. From Alliance, the training was held by Tamara Tretska, OST Program Manager. The training was also attended by drug treatment doctor Denis Chepelkin; representatives of Zaporizhia office of the Network of PLWH – Director of the organization Ihor Lytvyn, Head of Prevention Programs Halyna Azarova and Head of Advocacy Anna Tulupova.
On the eve of the training, Alliance received a copy of an unlawful official request to disclose personal data of all drug dependent people who are registered in Zakarpattia oblast. Thus, training participants had a chance to review this impudent violation of the current laws in order to prevent similar violations in terms of access to personal data and violation of the rights of drug dependent people, including OST patients. During the intensive discussion, the participants asked a lot of questions on the examples of practical use of the updated regulations, in particular on the delivery of OST drugs based on prescriptions or directly to patients as well as related to storing, transporting and otherwise handling OST drugs. Those questions were answered by trainers and experts.
One of the speakers was the regional representative of the Association of Substitution Treatment Advocates of Ukraine (ASTAU), Denys Korshunov, who spoke about the positive impact of the increased access to OST for drug users on the improvement of the criminal situation in the region.
All the participants received certificates upon training completion.