Illicit Drug Users in the Tanzanian Hinterland: Population Size Estimation Through Key Informant-Driven Hot Spot Mapping
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We mapped hot spots and estimated the numbers of people who use drugs (PWUD) and who inject drugs (PWID) in 12 regions of Tanzania. Primary (ie, current and past PWUD) and secondary (eg, police, service providers) key informants identified potential hot spots, which we visited to verify and count the number of PWUD and PWID present. Adjustments to counts and extrapolation to regional estimates were done by local experts through iterative rounds of discussion. Drug use, specifically cocaine and heroin, occurred in all regions. Tanga had the largest numbers of PWUD and PWID (5190 and 540, respectively), followed by Mwanza (3300 and 300, respectively). Findings highlight the need to strengthen awareness of drug use and develop prevention and harm reduction programs with broader reach in Tanzania. This exercise provides a foundation for understanding the extent and locations of drug use, a baseline for future size estimations, and a sampling frame for future research.
KeywordsPeople who use drugs People who inject drugs Population size estimation Mapping Tanzania
This research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [#U2 GPS 001472].
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The protocol was reviewed and approved by the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Institutional Review Board of the University of California, San Francisco.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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