Launch of first ever Tanzanian Network of People who Use Drugs

The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) - a global advocacy group who promote the health and rights of drug users - has recently established a domestic offshoot in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The launch of Tanzanian Network of People who Use Drugs (TaNPUD) was announced at a televised press conference on 31 January 2013 at the Medecins du Monde drop-in centre. It will be only the second sub-Saharan network of drug users - the first of its kind was set up in Kenya last year, called KeNPUD (Kenya Network of People who Use Drugs).

The goal of TaNPUD is to "advocate and educate for the health and human rights of people who use drugs in Tanzania."

The formation of the group was the culmination of a four-day workshop program delivered by members of INPUD and KeNPUD.

Forty-two people from the city who use drugs congregated and elected four leaders to represent them in their fight to combat the stigma of being drug users. They pointed out how discrimination becomes a barrier in their quest and called for universal access to health care and hard reduction treatment throughout the country.

Some of the other activities of TaNPUD include: "awareness campaigns on reducing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C; overdose recognition and response; safer Injecting techniques; reducing STI’s with safe sex practices; and community outreach."

2013 is looking to be a busy year for the new organisation, with TaNPUD due to plan several events in partnership with Medecins du Monde.