Two hundred Street children who use and inject drugs within the slums of Kampala will be targeted with awareness raising on the harms associated with the use of drugs including HIV and AIDS, hepatitis and TB. The approach will include use of documentaries, targeted information, education and communication materials, counseling and psycho-social support and referral for rehabilitation. These activities will be carried out within the street children drug use hot spot areas.
The drug laws in Uganda criminalize and push children and young people who use drugs into the shadows. Punitive laws deter them from health and social services that are vital to managing drug dependence, preventing transmission of HIV, and supporting young people to live full and productive lives. There is increased mental illness, sharing needle and syringes to inject drugs, TB, HIV, STDs, unsafe sexual practices and heart diseases among street children who use drugs.
The project will conduct information sharing on drugs through drug educative documentaries, carry out sensitization of street children and the community on drug use, peer education, referrals of unmanageable cases for further management by specialized health service providers, assist in legal protection and assisting in tracing and resettlement of street children and also engage them in sports competitions.
Referrals and linkages will enable street children adhere to seeking health services for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Hepatitis. Community sensitization of the on the drug use will increase community engagement to support and accept children who use drugs. Documentaries will inform street children dangers of using drugs, how they can do away with use of drugs. Legal protection assistance will enable law enforcement agencies change their mind set from taking drug use as a criminal but public health issue.