After the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, harm reduction services at HOPS- Healthy Options Project Skopje were modified, but all clients are still covered. Each service at HOPS has a separate telephone number and contact person that responds to the client needs:
- Social service +38975437090
- Legal service +38975423316
- Medical service and exchange sterile injection kit +38975769948
Clients can also contact the services through all social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website ) where all updates, from the government of North Macedonia and WHO, related to COVID 19 virus reduction and any new recommendations for protection from the COVIDC19 virus are continuously published.
Mobile outreach teams operate every day, previously contacted clients are visited in front of their homes. Depending on the needs of the clients, the team is formed: outreach worker + social worker, outreach worker + doctor or outreach worker + lawyer. There is a maximum of two people included in one team since we’re following government recommendations of two people per vehicle. Outreach teams each day distribute sterile equipment (needles, syringes, distilled water, condoms, lubricants), food and hygiene kits to the most vulnerable (HOPS collaborates with other charities, plans humanitarian action to collect food and hygiene kits). Also, our outreach teams provide information related to the coronavirus to our clients and how to protect their health (such as recommendations from INPUD). Once a week a medical person (doctor) must be part of the outreach team to assess the general health of the population and to respond promptly if necessary.
Opioids Substitution Therapy Centers run their activities smoothly and clients receive their therapy regularly. The staff at the methadone centers have increased the degree of caution and prevented more patients (therapy being raised one at a time) and fully followed the recommendations for protective equipment by the government of North Macedonia and WHO.
So far our team has been working bravely, unhindered, and dedicated to all those in need. We thank them for their empathy and sacrifice in these strange times.