As the COVID-19 Lockdown began to take place across South Africa, public health professionals needed to figure out how to provide people who inject drugs with safe spaces and resources in order to prevent withdrawal and accidental overdose. They also needed a way to administer social supports to people who may be living on the streets during the Lockdown. As a result, the Bellhaven Harm Reduction Centre was created to help this vulnerable population during a very uncertain and restricted time.
Bellhaven is a evidence-based harm reduction center in Durban serving low-income and homeless individuals who inject drugs. It provides methadone treatment to individuals seeking to overcome drug use disorders. With clinical, psychosocial and public health staff on hand, the care provided to individuals who use Bellhaven's services are in-line with the guidance of the World Health Organization. It provides services without judgement or stigma and focuses solely on the health and well-being of individuals seeking care. The goal in the development of this center is to increase the health and safety of the city of Durban.