Our mission

Founded in 2007, Collectif Urgence Toxida is the first organization in the African region to implement a harm reduction program. In 2021, we have more than 11,000 registered service users across the island. We have 25 field workers and 10 administrative staff, including peer educators (community members). The Collectif Urgence Toxida’s primary mission is to provide harm reduction services to the community of people who use drugs. Alongside, CUT advocates for the respect of the rights of people who use drugs to eliminate all forms of violence, abuse, stigma, and discrimination against them. CUT also sensitises the population to positively influence the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour toward drug use.

Our activities include:

  • Needle | Syringe programme
  • HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis rapid testing
  • Accompaniment to substitution / detox programmes
  • Supporting people living with HIV through HIV counselling and Treatment Literacy.
  • Human right advocacy
  • Collaborating with other NGO partners ( AILES ) for holistic services to beneficiaries
  • Awareness session

Our Challenges

    • To increase the number of HIV, Hepatitis C & Syphilis screening.
    • Advocating for a change in repressive legislation so that people who use drugs are no longer punished, but supported through harm reduction programme.
    • To obtain accurate statistics on overdose deaths and to be able to use Naloxone to save lives.
    • To find funding for our activities and ensure the continuity of our mission.
    • To establish other areas of intervention for the provision of harm reduction services.

Our intervention methods

    • Our mobile caravan that travels across the island, everyday at different location with a team of 2 field workers and 1 health care assistant. Rapid testing services are offered in addition to the Needle | Syringe programme and a basic medical service is also provided.
    • The “Back-packs” strategy are field workers who travel on foot with a backpack to the neighborhoods in Batterie cassé, Barkly, Florida, Elizabethville and Rouillard
    • To obtain accurate statistics on overdose deaths and to be able to use Naloxone to save lives.
    • The fixed sites, a container in Baie du Tombeau and locations defined by the field workers in Barkly, Plaisance, Stanley, Roche Bois, Batterie Cassée and Bambous

TIMELINE OF CUT

Local newspaper showcases for the first-time testimonies of people who inject drugs detailing how they share the same equipment among themselves and do not clean the injecting material.  The articles, intended to make people realize that the risky injection practices could lead directly to an explosion of HIV.

2002

This media coverage gives the momentum for the creation of the first civil society platform in 2002-2003, which brings together activists fighting for human rights, and against drug abuse and HIV.  The informal platform aims at sharing ideas to define a common strategy to tackle HIV and drug use and advocate for it with all stakeholders. 

2003

The platform is officially named CUT in 2004 and regroups NGOs working in the field of drug use.

2004

Advocacy efforts are intensified, including interventions by international specialists that highlight the urgency of the situation and that harm reduction practices should be introduced in Mauritius.

2005

CUT starts the first NSP programme which is illegal but done with the informal consent of authorities. The community of Tombeau Bay is chosen due to the high concentration of HIV+ cases and known drug consumption and trafficking in the Port Louis region.

2006

CUT is official registered with the Registrar of Association as an NGO providing harm reduction services to people who use drugs.

2007

CUT has continued its NSP across the island using multiple models: street-based fixed sites, mobile caravan, peer educators and backpack interventions in communities where the MOHQL has given them permission to operate.

2008

CUT organised the first conference on opiate abuse and harm reduction in 2009 with as main theme ‘Let’s face it’.

2009

CUT Expands its services across different regions in Mauritius, providing harm reduction services with HIV testing and counselling.

2010

CUT held its second conference, themed ‘A Client Centered Approach to Harm Reduction’. Its principal objective was to engage participants in a discussion on the ways of improving the quality of harm reduction services delivered in Mauritius to better cater to the needs of beneficiaries.

2011

CUT expanded its needle syringe programme strategies, covering more location within Mauritius.

2012

CUT Participated in its 1st International “Support Don’t Punish” Campaign. Support Don’t Punish is an international campaign to raise awareness about the damage caused by the criminalization of people who use drugs and the non-respect of human rights of these people.

2013

CUT took part in the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, making a presentation on the Harmonisation of Public Health and Public Safety in a Politically Conservative Environment. CUT also took part in the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna as part of the of civil society delegation, and its Coordinator was also selected to represent the African Civil Society organisations on a dialogue platform with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), platform that meets once or twice a year.

2014

CUT was elected to be the representative of NGOs engaged in the response to HIV on the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Mauritius. CUT also joined the executive committee of the National Drug Observatory. CUT also took part in the Indian Ocean Colloquium on HIV/AIDS in Seychelles, The International conference on Harm Reduction in Malaysia and a ARASA Pre-conference meeting on 'stigma and discrimination by co-facilitating a session at ICASA on Drug policies in South Africa.

2015

Although CUT has no official prevention department to date, the organisation begun responding, within its capacity, to a growing demand for information sessions on substances and drug policies.

2016

The third conference, themed ‘All lives matter’, re-branded Mauritius Harm Reduction Conference, was held in 2017. The conference aimed at demonstrating best practices and scientific evidence for efficient harm reduction policies and highlighted various international models that can provide inspiration for a drug law reform at local level. CUT also held a silent and peaceful protest on right in front of parliament to remind our political leaders that repression alone, will cause more harm than good

2017

CUT entailed in research to understand drug use behaviour across the youth aged 16 – 24 in Mauritius. CUT also in collaboration with the Mauritian Network of People who use drugs (MANUD) organised an awareness campaign in plaza, rose hill.

2018

Through the annual support don’t punish campaign, CUT engaged with political leaders, advocating for a review of drug policies in Mauritius

2019

CUT disseminated a position paper across various ministries, advocating the use of Naloxone to manage overdose in Mauritius. CUT in collaboration with AILES also organized a two-days testing campaign named the “Moris AIDS Tour” aiming at breaking the stigma and taboo associated with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

2020

CUT participated in the International zero-discrimination campaign, working with local artists to produce a song titled “nou tou inik”. In view of expanding its collaboration with different local partners, CUT participated in the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia with CAEC and YQA, producing the “viv lamour dan so grander” artistic clip to break the taboo on LGBTQIA+ issues in Mauritius. CUT also organised its 9th annual support Don’t punish campaign in collaboration with AILES, putting a symbolic prison in Mangalkhan to show that Mauritius needs a review of drug policies.

2021

Founded in 2007, Collectif Urgence Toxida is the first organization in the African region to implement a harm reduction program.

Contact

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Avenue,
Quatre Bornes, 72211, Mauritius

Support

Support the Collectif Urgence Toxida today. Financial donations of any size help fund our mission.

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