Formative Assessment and Mapping of Female Drug Users in Kano, Kaduna, Ogun, and Lagos, Nigeria
Using social media and mobile technology, Council researchers are collecting data on female drug users in Nigeria to increase visibility of and services for this hidden yet highly vulnerable population.
Female drug users risk HIV infection through unsafe injecting practices, selling sex for drugs or money, difficulty negotiating condom use during sex, and partner violence. They differ from male drug users by personal background, reasons for using drugs, and health and psychosocial needs. However, most HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs do not reach this vulnerable group. There is an urgent need for increased attention to and resources for this often hidden and neglected population.
The Population Council, in partnership with eHealth Nigeria, used social media programs such as crowd-sourcing and interactive maps on mobile phones to collect and validate data on this high-risk group. Open Data Kit on Android cell phones enabled researchers to map hot spots where women access and use drugs, as well as community resources in four cities in Nigeria (Kano, Kaduna, Ogun, and Lagos). Hot spots are locations where drug users purchase drugs, inject, hang out, find sex partners, or socialize and include "bunkers" (dens), pharmacies, police posts, "area boy" (neighborhood gang) hangouts, and okada (motorcycle taxi) points. The study team also noted observations such as number of male and female users and sellers, whether women were selling sex, and whether alcohol was consumed. Community resources include pharmacies where needles are sold, HIV testing centers, NGO outreach hubs, HIV educational resources, condom outlets, health centers, and police posts. Major geographic characteristics such as boundaries or accessibility were also captured.
By cross-referencing the data points and observations on Google Maps, the Council will be able to provide evidence on the size of the female drug user population and make recommendations for where the local government and nongovernmental organizations should target their facilities and services to reach this population. Data are currently being analyzed; results are expected soon.
Banner photo courtesy of eHealth Nigeria.
No publications are listed
Location: Nigeria (Kano, Kaduna, Ogun, Lagos)
HIV and AIDS
Duration: 12/2010 - 5/2011
Population Council researchers:
Lolade Yetunde Abiodun
Adam Thompson (eHealth Nigeria)
Evelyn Castle (eHealth Nigeria)