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Targets to be set for methadone therapy

Update: June, 06/2014 - 09:33
Representatives from 20 provinces and cities struggling with large numbers of drug addicts gathered at a conference in Ha Noi on Thursday. — VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI (VNS)— Representatives from 20 provinces and cities struggling with large numbers of drug addicts gathered at a conference in Ha Noi on Thursday, debating the expansion of methadone therapy.

Piloted in April 2008 in Hai Phong and HCM City, the methadone treatment programme has since been expanded to 32 out of the country's 63 provinces and cities, with more than 17,500 drug addicts receiving treatment at 92 clinics.

The Ministry of Health's Administration of HIV/AIDS Control reported that after a 24-month course of methadone treatment, only 15 per cent of patients still used drugs but in lesser amounts compared to before receiving treatment. In particular, quality of life was improved for most patients, with more people gaining employment and fewer committing crimes.

Piloted in April 2008 in Hai Phong and HCM City, the methadone treatment programme has since been expanded to 32 out of the country's 63 provinces and cities, with more than 17,500 drug addicts receiving treatment at 92 clinics.— Photo vtv

Nguyen Khac Dinh, from the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, said the committee had set the goal to provide the drug replacement therapy to 80,000 addicts by 2015.

However, the programme's coverage is still less than expected, particularly in localities with HIV/AIDS hotspots, he added.

Dinh also asked the Health Ministry and the 20 cities and provinces to set targets for each locality's clinics and patients treated in 2014 and 2015.

At the conference, participants scrutinised shortcomings and proposed measures to remove obstacles preventing treatment goals by 2015. — VNS

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