The aim of the webinar is to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on outreach work and how this affects the situation of people who use drugs (PWUDs). More specifically, we will address specific challenges and limitations and share experiences and good practice examples. The exchange is supposed to provide insights and will inform the development of practice and policy recommendations to ensure sustainable outreach activities during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
Date: 3 or 4 June (to be confirmed) 15.00
Managers of outreach services, Outreach workers, peer workers, interested researchers, drug user representatives
People Who Use Drugs have to be considered as a risk group in the COVID-19 pandemic. They often live in the margins of society with low or no access to housing, employment, financial resources, social and health care, and face systematic marginalisation in many countries. Many of them have multiple health problems, which can increase the risk of a (fatal) COVID-19 infection (including long-term diseases such as COPD, HIV, TB, hepatitis, and other conditions which reduce the immune system).
Outreach work is an important strategy to reach PWUDs and other vulnerable groups such as young people at risk, sex workers and undocumented migrants. Outreach work provides essential support, information and linkage to health and social services. The Covid-19 regulations and restrictions have significantly impacted outreach work. Streets are empty and in most cities the presence in the public space is restricted. Drug markets are disturbed and the restrictions make it difficult or almost impossible to find, reach and provide vulnerable groups with basic services and care.
Content and structure of the webinar
The webinar will address these challenges and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on outreach work and facilitate the exchange between outreach professionals, peers and experts. The following questions will be addressed:
- Which Covid-19 regulations are currently at place in different cities, affecting outreach services?
- How do these regulations affect the outreach work?
- How do outreach services adapt to these regulations?
- How does this impact the situation of PWUDs?
- What are innovative and good practices to learn from?
- What can we learn from the Covid-19 pandemic for the future
The webinar will include a selected number of short presentations and shared experiences, followed by a moderated discussion.
The webinar will be recorded and a meeting report will be published afterwards, including practice and policy recommendations.
Preliminary list of speakers:
speaker from the SEE region
Börge Erdal/Anna Sabina Soggiu, Norway
Moro Yapha, Berlin tbc
Mart Kalvet, Lunest, Estonia
Tony Duffin, Ana Liffey, Dublin