Needle and Syringe Programming in Tanzania: an in-depth investigation into its impact

Using clean needles can help prevent abscesses, infectious diseases and damaged veinsHowever the impact of the needle and syringe programme (NSP) in Tanzania might be much bigger than that. 

With the support of Mainline, the Tanzania based researchers Imma Kapinga and Bazil Kavishe from Rastemwi are investigating the impact of NSP on the quality of life of people who use drugs in Tanzania. Based on their first literature review, the researchers found there is much we still don’t know. NSP is recognised as an intervention to reduce HIV and other blood borne diseases, but existing studies often overlook the impact on other parts of people’s lives.

For example, people who inject drugs have better access to medical and psychosocial care. Additionally, not having to hustle to find needles means that people who use save a lot of time. The reduced stress about their health status and infectious diseases can have a positive impact on family and social relationships. The connection with an organisation could empower people to also ask for support with finding a house or work.

By the end of 2020, Kapinga and Kavishe will be able to share their new insights into the full impact of needle and syringe programmes on the lives of people who inject drugs in Dar Es Salaam. 

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