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The network introduces substitution therapy programs in the penitentiary system

On April 20, 2018, the medical sectors’ representatives of the State Criminal-Executive Service of Ukraine (CESU) in Kharkiv, Poltava and Sumy Oblasts made a study visit to Sumy.

The event was organized by the Network in the framework of the UNODC-supported project “Leadership in the implementation of approaches to provide people who use drugs with high-quality HIV prevention services and treatment in the penitentiary system of Ukraine”.

The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the best practice of the continuing substitution maintenance therapy implementation in the Sumy pre-trial detention center (SIZO) and to establish interaction between the SIZO’s healthcare unit, the regional drug dependency clinic and the NGO “Club ‘Shans (Chance)’”.

The visit was participated by Deputy Director of the Healthcare Center of CESU, a representative of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, representatives of the GF grant implementation project at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and 10 heads of healthcare units and relevant doctors from Kharkiv, Poltava and Sumy Oblasts.

“It is necessary to organize such study visits for representatives of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine from other regions to learn the best practices and further implement them in their regions. It helps to optimize their activities and ensure the patient’s right to continuing treatment,” said Oleksandr Gatiatullin, the Network’s leading specialist on implementing programs in the penitentiary system and the organizer of this event.

During the visit, the participants got acquainted with the activities of the Sumy Oblast Drug Dependency Clinic, saw themselves the process of the substitution therapy delivery in the healthcare unit of the Sumy pre-trial detention center, and studied how “Club ‘Shans’” provided the SMT patients with social support, which was financed by the regional budget.

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