Needle Exchange Program Review
A Review of Needle Exchange Programs in Saskatchewan - Final Report
This report , released in February 2009, includes the analysis and recommendations from an independent review of needle exchange programs in Saskatchewan.
The report says that, while the programs are doing a good job of reducing the spread of blood-borne disease, there need to be improvements made in areas like clean-up and disposal of discarded needles.
Needle exchange programs are shown to have resulted in a reduction of new cases of HIV and subsequent savings in health care costs.
Needle exchange programs are designed to reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases among injection drug users and ultimately reduce the risk of transmission to the general public. Clean needles are given for every injection, with the intent of reducing the sharing of used (possibly contaminated) needles. In Saskatchewan, these programs exchange clean needles for used ones.
A provincial steering committee has been formed to direct the next steps, which will happen in stages. Phase one will include enhanced education and the creation of a strong strategy for clean-up and disposal of used needles. Local committees will be established that will guide community efforts with an emphasis on a targeted clean-up blitz during spring thaw.
See the final report, or the shorter executive summary, in Related Documents, below.
News release, February 24, 2009.