Presenting author: Wangari Kimemia
Presenting author biography:
Name: Wangari Kimemia: Kenyan female (she). I hold Bachelor in English and Literature); Master in Sociology. Currently pursuing PhD (Sociology). I have 7 years experience in harm reduction and drug policy training, advocacy and research. Currently I'm the Capacity Building and Advocacy Officer with Women and Harm Reduction International Network(WHRIN).
“Our bodies, our rights.” A toolkit integrating sexual and reproductive health with harm reduction services for women and non-binary people who use drugs
Sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are integral to the right of everyone to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, yet due to criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, access by women and non-binary people who use drugs is severely limited. Capacity building on tailored SRHR services is a priority for harm reduction policy makers and implementers.
Responding to the absence of comprehensive, targeted guidance and practical training materials, the Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) and Frontline AIDS published the guide: ‘Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women who use drugs’ in 2020. Building from this, a practical 10 module toolkit was developed with community engagement and review, to support integration of SRHR services for women and non-binary people who use drugs. The workshop is designed for global application with particular contextualisation for low and middle income countries and is currently being rolled out across 10 countries.
Numerous studies reveal acute shortfalls in provision of SRHR for women and non-binary people who use drugs. This new workshop toolkit addresses disinformation and equips harm reduction service providers with evidence-based information and advocacy tools, including sessions on gender-based violence; HIV and STIs, breastfeeding and perinatal issues; contraception and safe abortion.
Outcomes and Implications
Participant feedback on initial application of the toolkit in Indonesia and Nigeria identified that the most transformative modules for those countries were: addressing harmful gender norms, medical abortion, neonatal opioid withdrawal and cervical cancer screening. It is expected that, following this 3 day workshop, harm reduction services will be enabled to institute arrangements for the integration of SRHR for women and non-binary people who use drugs, directly and through developing and strengthening referral linkages adapted to the needs of women and non-binary people who use drugs in their respective countries.