The Day of Action was organised by Kenyan AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) and the Kenyan Network of People Who Use Drugs (KeNPUD), with the support of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
In Kawangware – one of the most populous residential areas in Nairobi– activities began at 7.30am with a truck procession around the area. Key messages were proposed by KeNPUD and displayed prominently on banners and placards: “Don’t stigmatize us: understand and support us” and “Right to health is respect for human rights”.
The parade then led into a public event at which key partners, government officials and UN officials addressed the crowd, highlighting issues of drug use and the importance of the Support Don’t Punish approach. The event also included community-based skits to highlight the stigma that drug users face.
At the same time, in Watamu on the Kenyan coast, the drop-in centre worked with other community stakeholders such as local health services, community groups, schools and youth groups to organise a procession around the town. Afterwards, people were welcomed into the drop-in centre for free health outreach, BBV testing, and educational materials, etc.
The Day of Action in Kenya provided the momentum to create a dedicated Policy Advocacy Forum of more than 20 local civil society organisations, whose aim is to champion the health needs of people who use drugs.
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