Doctors to learn chemical dependence treatment

A start-up workshop for a distance education course, “Practical aspects of psycho-social support for patients with chemical dependence,” will take place April 14-15 in Bishkek. 33 medical staff from prisons and healthcare facilities will take the course delivered by the Kyrgyz State Medical Institute for Training and Advanced Education (KSMI) in cooperation with the USAID HIV React Project implemented by AIDS Foundation East-West.

Chemical dependence, including alcohol and drug abuse, is a serious challenge for public health. Abuse of legal and illegal psychoactive substances is spreading quickly in many countries. The number of young drug users is rapidly growing, and this problem affects people from all socio-economic groups. The Kyrgyz Republic, where the use of injected drugs is a driving force behind the HIV epidemic, is no exception.

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Health recognizes importance of the problem and is introducing comprehensive medical and social care programs for drug users. KSMI in cooperation with the USAID-funded HIV React Project developed this distance education course to increase capacity of medical staff to provide high quality and easily accessible services for patients with substance abuse issues. The course includes four modules – on chemical dependence, on HIV, on client management and on psycho-social characteristics of drug users. The course will last from April 20 to July 12.

The USAID HIV React Project is a two-year regional program focused on expanding the comprehensive package of services available to strengthen prison-based HIV prevention, treatment, and care services, with a special focus on people who use intravenous drugs and those living with HIV in detainment settings. Within two years, the project will reach 11,120 prisoners from 16 prisons in eight regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2015, the HIV React Project will work in nine different prison facilities in Chui province. The AFEW-Network led by AFEW-Kazakhstan is implementing the project. For more information, please visit