Médecins du Monde (MdM)
Position: Harm Reduction Outreach Worker
Starting date: ASAP – as soon as possible
Duration: 1 year (renewable)
I. Mission Context: Médecins du Monde (MdM) is an international humanitarian organisation whose mission is to provide medical care for the most vulnerable populations, the world over, including France.
It seeks to stimulate voluntary commitment from doctors, other health care providers, and from those whose expertise in other fields is needed for its activities, to enlist all competent support required for the achievement of its projects, and to seek at all times to encourage close working relationships with populations in its care.
For 20 years, Médecins du Monde has been involved in Harm Reduction, and is recognised for its work in this area, in France and internationally.
MdM has been involved in Harm Reduction programmes relating to HIV/AIDS since 1987 in France, and since 1990 internationally, in Russia, Serbia, China, Afghanistan, Georgia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Médecins du Monde has been working to improve access to voluntary counselling and testing; the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and access to antiretroviral treatment; as well as the decentralisation of treatment and healthcare.
Since 2009, MdM has chosen to target the highest-risk groups (particularly people who use drugs and sex workers), who are hardest hit and for whom no prevention or treatment services had been developed.
Following a needs assessment carried out in 2009, MdM implemented a harm reduction project among drug users in the in Dar es-salaam, Tanzania, in September 2010.
Today, this project includes a training and resource centre and aims to become a model project for national and regional harm reduction activities. In the same perspective, MdM have stated working in Kenya from 2013 and in Cote d’Ivoire in 2015.
Harm reduction (HR) policy: Harm Reduction is a set of policies, programmes and practices aimed at reducing the risks associated with psychoactive drug use for people who do not have the capacity or will to stop using. It helps drug users, their families and the community.
The harm reduction approach focuses on injection-related risks and on the individual, rather than on drug use. Debates on harm reduction began when the threat of the spread of HIV among drug users was recognised.
However, similar approaches have been used for a long time in many other contexts and for different types of drugs. Harm reduction complements practices aimed at reducing overall drug use, in that it is based on the acceptance of the fact that many people in the world continue to use drugs despite preventive or repressive measures.
It recognises that people who use drugs do not always have the ability or will to stop and shall be able to protect their health and their rights despite their drug use.
This approach is thus based on the principles of public health and on a commitment to respecting human rights. It is based on the understanding that it is preferable for a person who uses drugs not to inject, but that if a person does inject it is better to use sterile equipment in order to avoid harmful consequences.
Program Presentation: Kenya is one of the 10 countries in the world with the highest number of injecting drug users (with an estimated 130,000 drug users, of which between 18,000 and 30,000 are injecting users). HIV prevalence in Kenya decreased from 14% in the mid-1990s to 5-6% in 2006.
It is estimated that 1.5 million people are living with HIV, and that the prevalence rate among adults is 6.3%. A 2004 study of 156 IVDUs in Nairobi found an HIV prevalence of 36% (68% in women) and a prevalence of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) of 42% (48% in women).
In Kenya, drug use is heavily stigmatised by the population and healthcare professionals alike, which further marginalises people with drug dependency problems.
Drug users risk being detained for the use or possession of drugs, or even injecting equipment, which in turn increases the risks and vulnerability faced by people in relation to HIV and HCV.
MdM wants to centre its action on groups at high risk of infection, particularly drug users, by allowing them access to comprehensive harm reduction program including HIV and hepatitis prevention, testing, counselling and care, needle and syringes exchange programs, condoms, health education, etc.
MdM’s harm reduction project in Kenya aims to strengthen the capacity of Kenyan actors (voluntary organisations, healthcare professionals, etc.) and to become a model project for the country.
In the long term, it also aims to support the development of a regional approach, particularly with Tanzania, in order to introduce common training sessions and advocacy activities.
He / she will, with the outreach team, ensure the following responsibilities in close collaboration with the outreach workers and other team members.
1. Mapping of the targeted population, drug use establishments and analysis of stakeholders
– Identifies the drug using camps/sites where target population use drugs in different way,
– Collects information about number and different types (injectors, smokers etc) of beneficiaries at each camp,
– Collects information about their drug use behaviours, risk behaviours and health seeking behaviours,
– Participates in the identification of stakeholders (Law enforcement agencies, Community Based Organisation, Health care providers from different sectors etc),
– Gives inputs to define target places and periods of intervention with the rest of the team.
2. Implementation of Harm Reduction activities in DIC and in outreach with other team members
– Implements daily outreach activities and initiates contacts with MdM’s target population in settings such as, injecting sites/camps, sex establishments, local meeting place etc.
– Organizes and implements Needle and Syringes Exchange Programme (NSEP) and other Harm Reduction activities both in outreach and DIC to make sure beneficiaries can access to a comprehensive services,
– Organizes daily activities in Drop In Center (DIC) : registration, health education, condom promotion and social/recreational activities in close collaboration with other team members,
– Organizes and performs, in DIC or in outreach, high quality and participative (health) educational sessions, directly or by supporting peer educators,
– Organizes monthly workshops for beneficiaries in close collaboration with other members,
– Distributes IEC materials appropriately and comprehensively,
– Builds the trust and good relations with beneficiaries and intervenes to calm down a beneficiary if necessary;
– Ensures the respect of safety guidelines in all activities,
– Closely cooperates with medical and counselling officers to provide comprehensive and high quality care and education to beneficiaries,
– Facilitates referral linkages with relevant service delivery points,
– Ensures the referral system setting up through the project by reinforcing partners network and accompanying beneficiaries upon need to the referred structures
– Shares knowledge with MdM staff in terms of new and updated information on drug use behaviours, outreach situations in the field etc.
3. Collection of data and input for the monthly report to your line manager
– Collects daily activity data collection and fills in the appropriate forms (data collection register/form, etc.) and database,
– Prepare monthly report (monthly activities, information updates on outreach situation, challenges etc.).
4. Input to improve the management of Harm Reduction activities and advocacy
– Participates in Peer Educators selection process,
– Organizes and participates in Peer Educators’ and volunteer peers’ training and follow up meeting (discussion on difficulties and solution, information sharing about drug using sites and mobility of target population, access to new camps etc.),
– Contributes to the development of new IEC materials, including creativity workshop and focus group discussions,
– Participates on rotation basis in advocacy meetings and give input for the elaboration and implementation of advocacy strategy,
– Other duties on request and needs of the program
5. Ensure the security of team members
– Observe MdM security protocols, including wearing of professional protective equipment,
– In case of security threats and related concerns, follow immediately the MdM security process.
6. Demonstrate an ethic and professional practice
– Respect beneficiary confidentiality,
– Respect and promote MdM’s policies and report to your line manager any non-compliance of policies amongst the team members,
– Address needs and requests in a professional way,
– Always interact with beneficiaries within the set framework
– Always interact with beneficiaries with mutual respect and their consent.
7. Demonstrate willingness to improve professional competencies and abilities
– Demonstrate motivation at work,
– Demonstrate willingness to improve own knowledge and skills by participating actively in any training sessions, capacity building activities,
– Participate in the different activities that are common to all team members,
– Respect each team member’s positions, work and specialty,
– Adapt to special situations or demands from the line manager.
NB: Peer Educators are ex or current drug users with the knowledge of drug using sites, mobility of drug users, changes in drug use trend, behaviours of drug users and motivated to share the knowledge they received from MdM.
III. Position requirements
- Diploma in social work or counselling sociology or similar
- At least 2 years of professional experience in working with Key Population
- Experience in outreach work targeting (injecting) drug users will be an added advantage
- Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
- Appropriate skills and knowledge of local resources likely to be of interest to drug users
- Knowledge in the field of human rights desirable
- Involvement in program with people who use drugs will be added an advantage
- Experience in collecting information through assessments and evaluations is an asset
- Good writing, communication and analytical skills
- Good Computer Skills, including knowledge of Excel is an asset
- Non- judgement attitude towards (injection) drug use and (injecting) drug users
- Ability to establish trust and communicate effectively with active drug users
- Ability to work in team autonomously
- Able to check information, logical
- Cultural sensitivity, diplomacy and tactfulness
- Adaptation to specific working conditions (in the natural environment of (injecting) drug users)
- Capacity to work in an multidisciplinary and multicultural team
- Dynamism, high level of motivation
- Willingness to learn new skills and/or approaches
- Good capacity to interact with members of the team and different communities.
- Ability to work and stay calm under pressure
- Ability to refer to a comprehensive range of community services and facilities
- Ability to recognize and maintain appropriate person boundaries
Languages: Proficient in English and Swahili
How to Apply
If you believe you are the ideal candidates we are looking for, please submit your application with a CV and a cover letter to the following email address email@example.com with the title: Outreach worker.
Closing date is 10th March 2017.
Only shortlisted applicant will be contacted.
No application will be considered after the closing date as well as any application received by phone.
Due to the urgent nature of this position, applications will be processed as they are received.