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Health Min: No quick solution for drugs and addiction

Lamya Abdulla
15 September 2021, MVT 14:50
Health Minister Ahmed Naseem addresses the Parliament on Wednesday -- Photo: Parliament
Lamya Abdulla
15 September 2021, MVT 14:50

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem said there is no quick solution the addiction problem faced by Maldivians and it is in part due to being largely unfamiliar with the issue.

While speaking on restructuring the National Drug Agency (NDA) in the parliament on Wednesday, Minister Naseem acknowledged that drugs and addiction is one of the most significant crises faced by Maldives. He also noted that the relevant authorities do not know the way forward and that this issue had previously not been researched enough as well.

However, studies have began in order to understand this issue, he said.

Minister Ahmed Naseem visited the parliament voluntarily to inform the parliament on the obstacles faced in providing solutions to Maldives' drug problem. Along with him employees from NDA and Health Ministry had also visited. He answered questions by the parliament members after his team had finished their presentations.

Answering a question by Parliament member of the Velidhoo constituency Mohamed Abdulla Shafeeq, Minister Naseem said they would be working with all the relevant authorities to find a solution for this problem.

"There is no quick solution for this problem. We are learning and going forward," Minister said in Dhivehi.

Solutions lie in decentralization

MP Shafeeq had asked when rehabilitation services will be available in the islands. He noted that when addicts come to Male' for rehab their living situations are not usually good.

Minister Naseem said they would be making use of all the health centers in Maldives while providing rehabilitation for addicts.

"I don't see how this work will succeed unless we decentralize our efforts."

He said when addicts are in one location, due to familiarity, they often want to get high again together. To prevent this, instead of gathering everyone, services should be made available in all health centers over the nation, he said.

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