While visiting Australia, Youth RISE’s MJ Stowe met up with Tegan Nuckey from the Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN), to find out more about their needle and syringe program (NSP), as well as undergo naloxone administration training. QuIHN’s NSPs provide sterile injecting equipment and disposal options, referral to health services and information and education aimed at reducing blood borne virus transmission. The aim of the NSPs is to reduce the spread of blood borne viral infections among injecting
drug users, and thereby the general community. QuIHN’s NSPs also seek to reduce other injecting related injury and diseases and provide an important link to drug treatment referral and access, where appropriate.

Here’s what MJ had to say: “My day at the QuIHN office was inspiring. From the diversity of educational resources to the way in which staff interacted with the service beneficiaries, visiting the NSP provided me with a wealth of information to take back to South Africa. In addition, the naloxone training was fantastic, with Tegan using her experience and knowledge to teach me some valuable skills. I really look forward to taking these skills with me back to South Africa and putting them into practice. Especially since, in South Africa, People who inject drugs (PWID) who cannot access harm reduction services, specifically needle and syringe programmes, are at particularly high risk of Hepatitis C virus, HIV and if non-immune, for Hepatitis B infection.”

For more information on QuIHN’s programmes and services visit www.quihn.org.