NIHD signs deal to buy two needle exchange vans

Estonia's National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) is buying two vans for a total cost of €148,746 inclusive of VAT to be used as mobile needle and syringe exchange stations.

"The public procurement has ended by now, and an agreement on the purchase of specially designed vans concluded with Moller Auto Tallinn OÜ," NIHD public relations chief Gea Otsa told BNS on Monday. "The vans will be ready this summer."

According to the institute, the vans will be rebuilt to allow for the simultaneous offering of needle exchange and consulting services. The plan is to also offer HIV testing, instruction in the use of the overdose antidone naloxone, substitution therapy as well as other similar services in the vans in cooperation with healthcare professionals in the future.

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The mobile needle exchange program will supplement existing stationary needle exchange stations and services offered on the streets. The vans will make scheduled stops at designated places where the need for such services has been determined to be the greatest — first and foremost in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County.

In addition to its core mission of sharing health-related knowledge and influencing health behaviors and determinants of health, the NIHD also engages in public health research and health promotion as well as the development and implementation of disease prevention programs and activities.

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