Nejat held a Seminar in its treatment/rehabilitation centre in Kabul announcing to the participants its strategy for intervention among drug users in Afghanistan. Participated by various representatives from Embassies of developed countries, UNODC, GTZ (Germany), Ministry for Public Health and NGOs active in the field of Drug Demand Reduction. Qasim Zamani (Director of Nejat), outlined Nejat’s understanding of Afghanistan’s drug use situation in detail and how Nejat is responding to the situation now and in the future. Zamani outlined the different stages of drug use i.e. experimental; dependent- and dysfunctional drug use, as well as the specific responses related to the stages. Ulrich Kohler (Director of DOH International) spoke on the need and benefits of networking between service providers. Tauseef Qureshi (Marketing Director of Nai Zindagi-Pakistan) spoke on the possibilities of developing enterprises that could become part of the NGO’s programme and provide the same with a sustainable after-care and skill building system. The Governments CND Director Mr Zafar spoke on the present needs and planned responses of the GoA in the field of Drug Demand Reduction and the Special Advisor on HIV/AIDS to the Minister of Public Health spoke on the need to engage in active networking in order to accomplish a multi sectoral approach for prevention. A 1 ½ hour discussion among all the participants followed and the seminar closed with a guided tour around the Nejat facility.
Nejat’s desire is to work in an open and inclusive manner ensuring that clients/patients receive care that reflects the Standards of Service enshrined in the FORUM SoS. Afghanistan is in the early stages of developing concepts and methodologies for intervention in the drug use scene, Nejat feels that this is a crucial time and opportunity to establish at this stage a service that can function as a model for other NGOs and service providers.
Numbers of drug users in Afghanistan is impossible at this stage to ascertain, however, give the circumstances of the country past as well as present it is clear that all the ingrediance are in place for a major drug use epidemic among the Afghan society. There are already reports of injecting bringing the possibility of an associated HIV/AIDS epidemic into a reality. Health care services for the general public are at best extremely limited, a significant outbreak of HIV/AIDS would presently shot the existing health care provision down due to simple overload.
At present Nejat provides in-patient care for 12 clients and hopes to increase this number rapidly. Other programmes run by Nejat in Afghanistan are: a prevention programme in Jalabad and a community based programme in Kabul for women implemented by Nejat’s women social worker team.
Treatment Director Dr