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Needle and syringe programme: coverage calculator

Welcome to the Harm Reduction Works needle and syringe programme ‘coverage calculator’. This web resource is designed to help you estimate the extent to which the number of syringes being distributed to illicit drug users within an area compares to an estimate of the potential need for sterile injecting equipment.

‘Coverage’ is a term that is used to describe the extent to which healthcare interventions reach their target population. It is a particularly important issue for needle and syringe programmes because the provision of sterile injecting equipment has been shown to be an effective and cost effective intervention to reduce the spread of blood borne viruses.

Once you have typed in the necessary information about injecting drug use and the provision of injecting equipment, the calculator will work out an estimate of coverage as 'the percentage of injections of illicit drugs for which a new needle and syringe has been provided' in a population. This is widely accepted as the most useful definition. For more information on the definitions of coverage, click here.

Complete the fields below and then click 'calculate coverage' at the bottom (please read the notes beside each cell for further information on why the number is required to calculate coverage, and issues that can arise in deciding what figure to enter).

Number of illicit drug injectors:
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Number of people in opiate substitute treatment:
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Average injections per day (out of treatment):
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Average injections per day per user (in treatment):
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Total number of syringes given out per year:
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Number of syringes given out to steroid injectors:
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