19 October-1 December 2020
The 51st Union World Conference On Lung Health
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Channel 4
SP-08-Incarceration for drug use and TB among people who use drugs: time to break the cycle
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SP-08-Incarceration for drug use and TB among people who use drugs: time to break the cycle
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The interactive panel discussion in this session aims to highlight the impact of over incarceration on the United Nation's High-Level Meeting tuberculosis (TB) targets and the urgent need to reform drug policies as an effective approach in fighting COVID-19, TB and HIV.  It will bring together high-level policy makers, correctional medical doctors, civil society and drug policy makers to identify the influence of the criminalisation of drug use and possession on TB infection rates, to discuss the latest advances in drug policy and to explore how the response to TB can mobilise for drug policy reform.

15:00 - 15:05: Introduction

15:05 - 15:15: Incarceration, drug policies and TB in Tanzania and across Africa: reflections by the community of people who use drugsIn her presentation, Happy will reflect on the impact of incarceration and drug policies on tuberculosis (TB) in Tanzania and across Africa, particularly among women who use drugs. She will also share information about the situation with TB and multidrug-resistant TB, including among the key populations in Tanzania. She will share what concerns her most and what gives her hope for the way forward.
Happy Assan

15:15 - 15:25: The heavy toll of drug policies on TB: prison health and human rightsColleen Daniels will present an overview and discussion on how prisons are a highly ineffective way to deal with people who use drugs. With incarceration rates increasing every year, bad living conditions in prisons, exacerbated by poor access to healthcare, jeopardises the fight against communicable diseases, particularly tuberculosis (TB).  The presentation will discuss how mass incarceration, overcrowded prisons, and human rights violations contribute to fueling TB. These issues are compounded in countries that have high rates of incarceration for drug-related offences and in settings where there is no continuity of treatment for people entering and leaving the prison system. With a global prison population of 11 million people that keeps increasing every year, many prisons in the world are overcrowded due to the incarceration of people for drug-related offences, over 80% of them are in prisons for non violent offences.  In some countries, over 50% of the prison population are held under drug-related offences, while among female inmates this proportion is higher and up to 80% in some countries.  This presentation will outline the need to reform drug policy as an effective approach to fight TB and HIV.
Colleen Daniels

15:25 - 15:35: Reflections and suggestions for the way forward from people who use drugs in AsiaTuberculosis (TB) is one of the fastest growing epidemics among prison populations and one of the main causes of death, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Yatie Jonet will share cross-Asia perspectives of people, who use drugs, on the influence of criminalisation on health, with a focus on TB. She will share powerful stories about experiences of people who use drugs with incarceration, getting infected in prison and lacking treatment in prison as well as positive stories on access to treatment in prison. She will share suggestions on the way forward from people who use drugs, focusing on the needs of women who use drugs. She will share what concerns her most and what gives her hope for the way forward.
Yatie Jonet

15:35 - 15:45: COVID-19, TB, harm reduction and prisons: challenges and opportunitiesLee will reflect on his personal journey of being the lawyer and the doctor. He will also share information about the situation with tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB, including among the key populations in the Philippines. Prisons and other closed settings are high risk environments for communicable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C and TB as well as COVID-19. This presentations will draw on experiences in the Philippines. It will discuss that prisons, drug use and HIV are all independent risk factors for the development of TB and amplify each other into synergistic comorbid phenomena.  In the current context, COVID-19 also puts detained people and prison staff at extremely high risk, on top of these existing health threats. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted countries to release people who were incarcerated for non-violent offences, including people who use drugs. This approach should urgently be adopted in other countries too and, critically, it opens up a debate about whether people who use drugs have rightly been detained in the first place.
Lee Yarcia

15:45 - 15:55: Vision, evidence and roadmap for the way forwardProfessor Michel Kazatchkine will discuss that punitive approaches to drug use and repressive drug policies have been hindering the results of the investments made in the fight against communicable diseases, particularly tuberculosis (TB). Health outcomes are exacerbated by overcrowding and unhealthy conditions, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Michel will discuss how United Nations bodies and other regional human rights monitors could be better at monitoring and reporting on the issue of TB in prisons. Building on data related to incarceration around the world, this presentation will reflect that political will and partnerships - including with the medical, scientific communities, decision makers, parliamentarians and city mayors - are the main driver for drug policy reform and effective response to TB and co-infection. Mobilisation of the community working on addressing TB is key for scale-up of harm reduction services and drug policy reforms. It will discuss that further progressing drug policy reform across countries is key for the effective response to TB The presentation will discuss the impact of over incarceration on the achievement of the UN High-Level Meeting on TB targets, discuss solutions, suggest a way forward as well as reflecting on the presentations made.
Michel Kazatchkine

15:55 - 16:20: Q&A session

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