Mapping of People Who Use and Inject Drugs in hotspots in the districts of Mbale, Tororo, Busia and Malaba

The report presents the findings of the Mapping of People Who Use and Inject Drugs in hotspots in the districts of Mbale, Tororo, Busia and Malaba This was conducted in Mbale, Malaba, Tororo and Busia. In Mbale District the study was conducted in Industrial Division, Namakweke Subcounty, Doko Sub-county, Sub county and Central Division Western Division. In Malaba data was collected in Malaba Town council, in Busia District the study focused on Customs Ward. In Tororo District we focused in Tororo town council. In all the sub counties and divisions, the study scope was narrowed to the villages and finally to the hotspots.

Using the wisdom of crowd, the study team was able to estimate the number of people who use drugs per hotspot, names of hotspots and the peak hours. Collective opinion of a group of PWUIDs was used to gather information rather than that of a single PWUID; each crowd’s opinion was independent of those around them and based on their individual knowledge. This helped to aggregate individual opinions into one collective decision. This was followed up by use of PWUID Diaries, one on one interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs).

Among the commonly injected drugs across the study geographical scope included; brown sugar, pethidine, Morphine, concaine. Cristal meth and Coctaile of liquid drug. And the commonly non injected drugs include; Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Cigarettes, Kajani, Khart, Mira, Fuel, Paint and Shisha,

PWUID belong to different categories including; doctors, elites, sex workers, young people in and out of school, drivers, bodabodas, law enforcement, house wives and bar attendants. The mostly frequented places by PWUID included; streets, park yards, brothels, markets, video halls and garages.

Essential services accessibility by PWUIDs is still low across all study areas. The available health facilities included; Bugema, Koloni Health centres, Mbale Main Referral Hospital and Nakaloke H/C, Maluku H/C ART. Namakwekwe in Mbale. In Tororo the mentioned health facilities included; ST Anthony Medical Centre, Divine Mercy and Tororo main hospital. In Busia the facilities included; Busia Masafu HCIV and Red Cross and in Malaba, facilities included; Malaba HCIII, Emari private clinic, White Horse Clinic and Vienna clinic. However, all these lacked essential harm reduction services such as Needle and Syringe program and Medically assisted Therapy services. PWUID mentioned that they access legal aid services from HRAPF, WWM, UHRN and MYCEG.

Among the challenges faced by PWUID include; knowledge gaps with law enforcement officers on harm reduction which is fuelling human rights violation of people who use drugs across the study districts, lack of integrated health services access required by People who use and inject drugs, insufficient knowledge by people who use and inject drugs peers to support, counselling, referrals, linkages, human rights violations documentation and reporting. And this limited access to essential services by people who use and inject drugs in most of the hotspots visited, lack of targeted behavioural change communication toolkits for implementing risk-reduction such messages on safe injecting practices.