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WV DHHR report: Kanawha-Charleston needle exchange program should be shut down

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has completed its review of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department's Harm Reduction Program. (WCHS/WVAH)

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has completed its review of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department's Harm Reduction Program.

This all comes in the wake of controversy surrounding, specifically the needle exchange component of that program.

The mayor of Charleston and the head of the health department asked the state to conduct an independent review.

The state has decided to suspend the county's needle exchange certification citing problems with the way the health department kept its records and dispensed needles.

The report cited several problems with the program including data quality issues, a significant limit to data analysis and increased syringe litter.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department could be allowed to restart the program if it can meet a long list of requirements including the collection of used syringes.

Some of those requirements include offering Hepatitis A and B vaccines routinely, improving data collection, storage, and management, and requiring each patient to receive a unique identifier that can be used to track clinical behavioral behavior.

You can see the full evaluation below:

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