ALL central hospitals in the country have now set aside a ward reserved for the treatment of drug abusers as it seeks to bridge the gap of public rehabilitation centres, a senior government official has said.
Deputy minister of Health John Mangwiro yesterday told a workshop organised for journalists by the National Aids Council in Chinhoyi that the government was working hard to fight against drug abuse.
“Each central hospital will have an area reserved for drug abusers and even individuals who want to commit suicide using drug overdose.
“The programme is also in provincial hospitals and very soon in districts with the help of trained personnel to assist them to recover,” Mangwiro said.
“There will be short, medium and long-term treatment plans for drug abusers and as a government, we will treat them as patients as they are suffering from substance abuse.”
The rehabilitation centres would vary in treatment depending on the individuals.
“When a person uses drugs, the drug suppresses certain hormones and they will need the drug to be functional as the drug replaces the hormones so they need to be weaned off professionally.
“As a ministry, we have the remedies to treat drug users, people should not hesitate to go to doctors even if a person is drunk with musombodhiya, the hospital is open for them as they need medical attention.
“The drug business is multinational and there are people who smuggle drugs into the country. We will deal with suppliers who are destroying the lives of people,” the deputy minister said.
Mangwiro also urged the media to bring a story of hope and not discriminate against drug abusers.
“The anxiety we are experiencing in the country is not different from when HIV was identified. From that experience, we have managed to turn the tide and build a resilient response to HIV for which our country has been recognised as a best practice.
“We can rely on our experience we garnered in HIV to effectively confront Covid-19 and this relates to the importance of the media in disseminating health information,” he said
Zimbabwe is one of the few countries in the sub-region and entire globe to achieve the ambitious 90-90-90 treatment targets to help end the Aids pandemic.