Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN) is a youth led drug user initiative established in 2011 as an NGO Reg. No. 181733 to respond to the drug use crisis in Uganda. The network works to advocate for practical interventions aimed at supporting and addressing issues of people who use drugs (PWUDs).
The network also seeks to provide a national platform for health and policy programs that promote good practices and advocate for a supportive environment for the adoption, implementation and expansion of harm reduction programs for people who use drugs in Uganda. Currently UHRN’s geographical focus includes the following regions and districts: Central Region (Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Kalangala, Lyantonde, Rakai, and Nakasongola), Eastern Region (Busai, Tororo-Malaba and Mbale), Western Region (Kasese, Mbarara, and Kabale-Katuna) and Northern Region (Gulu and Arua). Uganda Harm Reduction Network through its programming is committed to raise awareness and promote effective access to quality prevention, treatment, care and support services for people who use drugs living with and affected by HIV, TB, Hepatitis and other related health issues and lobby and advocate for a national platform for better health and policy programmes that promote good practices and supportive environment for the expansion and implementation of harm reduction programmes for people who use drugs (PWUDs) in Uganda
Vision: A society where drug users are empowered to make informed decisions on the impacts of drugs and substance use and live a life that gives them hope in Uganda.
Mission: To improve the health and socio-economic well-being of drug users by offering prevention and intervention services aimed at reducing the harms associated with drug use in Uganda.
Objectives: We work to:
- To promote effective prevention, treatment, care and support for people who use drugs living with and affected by HIV, Hepatitis, TB and other related health issues in Uganda.
- To raise awareness and increase knowledge on SRHR” to full realization of drug user’s sexual reproductive health and reproductive rights in Uganda.
- To increase young people’s knowledge on drug use, sexual health, HIV prevention viro hepatitis and enable them to make informed choices about drug use and their sexual behaviour through skills development.
- To advocate for policy and law reforms in order to reduce the criminalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs in Uganda.
- To promote and lobby for the adoption and inclusion of harm reduction programs as means of supporting safer drug use and reducing drug related harm among people who use drugs in Uganda.
- To maintain a sustainable national network that is effective, transparent and accountable to its membership.
- Building of partnerships, synergy and develop leadership capacity/skills building for people who use drugs on issues of prevention, health interventions, policies, ethics, and technologies at all levels.
A Comprehensive UHRN’s Health Care interventions for People Who Use Drugs;
- Needle and syringe exchange programmes
- Mobilisation for HIV testing and Counselling
- Referral for Antiretroviral therapy, follow-ups
- Referral for Prevention diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis
- Referral for Vaccination diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis
- Referral for Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Referral for opioid substitution therapy and other drug dependency treatment.
- Condom distribution programmes for people who use drugs and their sexual partners
- Sharing information, education and communication for people who use drugs.
No single activity will prevent or reverse HIV epidemics but the greatest impact can be achieved if all these nine interventions are implemented as a package.
The driving forces that guide all our actions and practices at UHRN are:-
- Social justice, protection and recognition in society
- Love and respect for one another.
- Support and care for one another
- Honesty in all our undertakings
- Empathy for each other as drug users
- Sharing the available resources.