Nascop: More than 3,900 young people aged below 18 years are injecting with drugs

National Aids and STIs Control Programme (Nascop) latest data shows that more than 3,900 young people aged below 18 years are injecting with drugs, representing 11 per cent of the total number of Persons Who Inject Drugs (PWID).

The total number of people injecting with drugs in the country stands at 35,784, with the data showing that 15 per cent of the number are women.

According to the National AIDs Control Council CEO Ruth Laibon-Masha Kenya started the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in 2014 to look at how to manage the large number of people who inject drugs in the country.

While speaking to journalists in Nairobi on July 11, 2022, Ruth said that the medically assisted therapy is given daily, thus posing a challenge since some of those recruited into the programme tend to drop out.

“To date, close to 10,000 patients have been recruited into the programme with just 8,000 who are active after some either dropped out or completed the dose and are no longer using drugs.”

She further said, amongst the places where Nascop have the rehabilitation centres, they also have the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse running some of the programmes on behalf of the government.

“We have programmes within the prison setting where the use of drugs is high prevalent and also we have programmes that are supported by the government, for example, in Miriritini where we also have that rehabilitation centre,” Masha said.

Substance use disorder has been linked to risky sexual behaviour and puts the users at risk for getting viral hepatitis.

The plan by the Ministry of Health to expand treatment and rehabilitation clinics to Western region, Siaya County and Mandera County that has registered an increase in number of PWID, will see the ministry set up medically assisted therapy clinics to target people who inject drugs and to curb the burden of drug abuse.


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