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More provinces, cities provide methadone treatment for HIV/AIDS

Update: July, 23/2015 - 17:42
The inaugurate ceremony of the Methadone supplying station in the northern province of Thai Nguyen. Forty-six of the 63 provinces and cities in the country have provided treatment for HIV/AIDS with methadone this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Lan Anh

HA NOI (VNS) — Forty-six of the 63 provinces and cities in the country have provided treatment for HIV/AIDS with methadone this year.

Fifteen more provinces and cities are applying this treatment this year compared to last year.

The country now provides treatment to more than 31,100 HIV/AIDS patients, an increase of more than 6,600 patients compared to last year, according to the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control.

Some provinces and cities, such as HCM City and the provinces of Nghe An and Son La, have large numbers of drug addicts, and some 30 per cent of them received the treatment, Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of the department, said.

Fourteen provinces and cities, including Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Binh Phuoc and Ca Mau, have not introduced treatment with methadone.

Long said the reason was that the provinces and cities had not paid enough attention to the treatment programme; they had not assigned workers or the equipment needed to conduct it, and the administrative procedures to receive patients were complicated.

The opening of new health centres providing treatment with methadone had met with obstacles due to a lack of workers and the difficult terrain in remote areas.

The Ministry of Health has called for aid from various sources to buy methadone and medical equipment for different areas. The ministry has provided technological support and examined the work done by the provinces and cities, Long said.

The ministry has authorised three domestic firms to manufacture methadone: the Vidipha Central Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company, the Danapha Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company and the Ha Tay Pharmaceutical Company. Since 2013, the ministry has been buying methadone produced in Viet Nam at a price 20-30 per cent lower than that of the imported drug.

Institutes and schools under the ministry often hold courses to train medical workers from different localities in the use of methadone.

The ministry is set to issue a circular on methadone management and provide guidance on organising methadone delivery stations. — VNS

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