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Substance Abuse Research Center (SARC-AMAN) - Palestine

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Introduction

 The Substance Abuse Research Center (SARC-AMAN) is the main centre of the few specialized centres in Gaza working on issues related to HIV, drug abuse and harm reduction. Gathering experts in both HIV and harm reduction, SARC-AMAN has carried out activities in research, training, awareness-building and outreach. Facilitated by a team of former drug users, the centre builds awareness among people who inject drugs, high school students, university students and refugees in camps. Further, training is given to health personnel on issues of harm reduction and HIV. SARC-AMAN has carried out harm-reduction activities through outreach to increase the awareness of people who inject drugs and prevent multiple-person use of syringes and needles while promoting safe sex. Importantly, through a powerful advocacy campaign promoting the human rights of people living with HIV, the organisation has created an enabling environment for people living with HIV by raising awareness of HIV-related stigma and by advocating structural changes in the law and policy resulting in changing perceptions of people who use drugs. The foundation has broken barriers and challenged the stigma that comes with working on the issue of injecting drugs and HIV in Gaza.

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Successes

Profile in Brief
Organisation
Substance Abuse Research Center
Region
Middle East
Classification
Non-Governmental Organisation
Field of Work
Human Rights
Prevention
Stigma and Discrimination
Harm Reduction
Populations Served
Injecting Drug Users (IDUs)
Refugees
High School & University Students
Founded
2001
Staff
5 full-time, 6 part-time, 22 volunteers
  • The organisation has conducted several research projects particularly amongst high school and university students around drug use and youth sexual health with a focus on sexual behavior and HIV.
  • Advocacy is an integral part of SARC-AMAN‘s activities which often entails liaising with stakeholders, community leaders, religious leaders, Anti-Narcotics General Administration (ANGA), and decision makers.
  • In Gaza, marginalized groups include prisoners and their families, as well as people who use drugs and their families. These groups are stigmatized and discriminated against, resulting in their lack of health and social services. SARC-AMAN  supports them psychosocially and reduces the stigma and discrimination through advocacy to improve local legislation.
  • SARC-AMAN launched an advocacy campaign to change discriminatory and unfair laws on dealing with people who use drugs, for them to be considered as patients. In this way, the center seeks to promote human rights by reducing institutional discrimination for both people who use drugs and people living with HIV.
  • drugs and people living with HIV. In 2005-2006, SARC-AMAN conducted an outreach and awareness program that focused on condom distribution and needle exchange in the entire Gaza strip.
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    In 2005-2006, SARC-AMAN conducted an outreach and awareness program that focused on condom distribution and needle exchange in the entire Gaza strip.

Contact

Website: http://www.sarc-aman.ps
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 97282843435
Address: Flat 104
Cairo Tower
TalAlhawa Street
Gaza, P.O. Box 1137
Palestine