REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA: аssessment of the sustainability of the opioid agonist therapy programme in the context of transition from donor support to domestic funding

The opioid agonist therapy  (OAT) programme has been implemented in the Republic of Albania since 2005. From 2007 until now, support has been provided by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Republic of Albania is still committed to allowing free access to the OAT programme at facilities run by the NGO, Aksion Plus, at various sites around the country through Global Fund support. As of September 2022, nine OAT sites were functioning in nine different cities of the country, providing services to 888 clients. In addition, 126 clients receive OAT in 16 prisons (1,014 OAT clients altogether) . The OAT programme is fully financed by the Global Fund and, hence, is the main and only source of funding through the Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

It is expected that support from the Global Fund will end in 2024 and the OAT programme should fully transition to State funding by that time.

Under these circumstances, it is crucial to assess the sustainability of the OAT programme in the context of transition from the Global Fund support to national funding; and to identify the strength, the weaknesses, barriers, challenges, risks and opportunities to enhance the sustainability of the OAT programme. This assessment was conducted during August-December 2022 using the OAT sustainability framework concept and methodology developed by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA).

The following provides a summary of progress towards ensuring the sustainability of the OAT programme in Albania by the three thematic areas reviewed in the course of this assessment.

Based on this assessment, the recommendations have been developed to enhance the sustainability of the OAT programme in Albania.

You may access the report on the assessment of OAT sustainability in Republic of Albania in English and Albanian by following the links: