Social Responsiveness event: Harm reduction

24 Sep 2019
24 Sep 2019

L to R: Dr Lisa Dannatt, Fergus Ashburner, Shaheema Allie, Lize Weich, Tara Gerardy, and Nasif Higgins


The Division of Addictions Psychiatry hosted a Social Responsiveness event “Harm Reduction: Common Sense of Non Sense” on 17 September 2019 at Valkenberg Hospital. Presenters included Dr Goodman Sibeko, Dr Andrew Scheibe, Mr Shaun Shelly, Dr Lisa Dannatt, Ms Tara Gerardy, Dr Lize Weich, Ms Shaheema Allie, Mr Fergus Ashburner and a video compiled from inputs of several service users from TB HIV Care.

This conversation highlighted the need for South Africa to adopt an evidence-based approach to managing the harms related to drug use. The speakers demonstrated how harm reduction is an approach that is aligned to medical ethics, protects human rights and is a patient-centred approach that can be used to reduce the harms related to drug use. Speakers also focussed on the need to advocate for the examination of the current view of drug use as criminal under South African law.

The event was well attended by a diverse audience including, policy advocacy groups, doctors, nurses, social workers, representatives from substance treatment centres. This event provoked thoughtful conversation amongst participants and will hopefully be a step in an ongoing conversation regarding improving access to harm reduction care for people who use drugs.


Delegates watching the social responsiveness event