PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT STRATEGY FOR 2011-2012 YEARS
Law, Media and Health
- To improve the state of human rights in health the direction in 2011-2012 will prioritize the following issues:
- Integrating legal and health services
- Human Rights in-patient care
- Media within a health and human rights framework
Mental Health Initiative (MHI) aims to ensure that people with mental disabilities (mental health problems and/or intellectual disabilities) are able to live in the community and participate in society with full respect for their human rights. MHI promotes the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities by supporting the development of community-based alternatives to institutionalization.
MHI priority areas include:
- Promoting Access to Education - Inclusive Education for children with mental disabilities: support for service provision and policy reform in inclusive education; provision of technical and financial support to projects in Tbilisi and Batumi schools for children with mental disabilities; close work with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia on the reform of the segregated educational systems for children with disabilities.
- Capacity-Building of civil society organizations - preventing institutionalization and providing community-based services: support for NGOs that provide communitybased alternatives to institutions; support in the transformation process of orphanages (institution for infants) and provision of financial and technical assistance to NGOs; transformation of the Tbilisi Infant House from a residential facility to a Center providing community-based and family focused support services for children with disabilities.
- Advocating for Government Commitment to Social Inclusion - development of socially inclusive policies and community-based services, including the creation of appropriate financing mechanisms (promotion the role and engagement of civil society organizations in policy and service development).
The Harm Reduction (HR) program works to reduce health, economic and social harms related to illicit drug use. Program priorities include:
- Building local capacity for harm reduction policy analysis, development and advocacy - issuing grants to human rights NGOs and drug user community groups for protecting drug user (DU) rights; support in establishment of a professional drug treatment association for professional capacity building and networking of doctor narcologists; conducting a feasibility study of scale up of Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) programs in Georgia; carrying out a research to analyze cost benefits of drug treatment vs. incarceration.
- Harm reduction education, documentation and communication - preparation of materials for DUs and service providers; provision of technical assistance to HR service providers on emerging issues; capacity building of the Georgian HR network.
- Piloting of new and "model" services - supporting pilot projects for innovative services - e.g. women and prisoners, or overdose prevention activities; documentation of human rights violation cases and building new collaboration (e.g. between lawyers and harm reduction services) to undertake strategic litigations.
Palliative Care and Access to Essential Medicines
The work will focus on:
- Improving end-of-life care for patients and their families, Advocacy for improvements in access and availability of opioids and other medications required for the effective treatment of pain and other symptoms;
- Increase access to essential medicines; develop civil society capacity for advocacy and leadership on access to medicines.