Sweden Assists Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos in Helping Drug Users Kick the Habit

The first project advisory committee meeting of the talks between Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, organised by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA), was held in Cambodia on November 20, 2007 and presided over by Sar Kheng, Cambodian Interior Minister and the president of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).
The meeting was organised as part of a Sida project to be implemented through the World Health Organisation and the two-year project will be launched this year in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, NACD’s General Secretary Lou Raminhe was quoted by the Cambodian-language newspaper the Kampuchea Thmey as saying.
Cambodia is facing difficulties in establishing treatment and rehabilitation centres and the number of drug users is on the rise, he said, adding that Cambodia has yet to find the appropriate means to treat drug addicts.
“SIDA could help the Ministry of Health to train ministry officials and development partners on the establishment of a pilot project on the treatment of (drug users) with the use of methadone, ” said Bun Heng, NACD deputy general secretary and also secretary of state for Health ministry.
In response to Cambodia’s drug challenges, Sar Kheng said that Cambodia has issued mechanisms, strategic and action plans with support from development partners, and the government has established provincial and municipal drug inspection committees, treatment and rehabilitation teams.
“I hope that members of project advisory committee of the three countries will hold a comprehensive discussion and develop an appropriate action plan in line with the legal framework of each country,” said Bun Heng.

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