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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Villa Maraini Foundation in Rome has continued almost all of the 12 services for the treatment and care of individuals who use drugs while complying with the prevention and safety rules indicated by the government. This has meant adjusting our practice. For example, some group sessions of the treatment groups at Villa Maraini have been conducted outdoors in order to meet the required social distance between the clients. The centre also received clients one-by-one after measuring body temperature before entering the session, and supporting other preventive measures. In this way, we ensured continuity of treatment and assistance even in the harshest period of the total lockdown.

Moreover, we integrated the HIV and Hepatitis C testing programme with COVID-19 testing for individuals who use drugs and access our services; we also supported individuals on the street through the street-based unit of the Foundation. We have also continued our work on preventing overdoses, which is one of our main programs.


For more information, contact the author: Stefano Spada Menaglia, Villa Maraini Foundation,

In the lead-up to UHC Day 2020 (“Health for All: Protect Everyone”), we are highlighting how CSEM member organizations are contributing to ensure the COVID-19 response protects everyone and keeping momentum going for universal health coverage amid the crisis. See more.

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