Danish NGO Fontana leading drug abuse project in Vietnam

The Danish related NGO Fontana and the Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) in Vietnam in collaboration with the Psychiatric Hospital of Khanh Hoa in Nha Trang held on May 24th 2016 an event where the focus was on the Khanh Hoa province in Vietnam.

The project “Break the Circle” was launched during the knowledge sharing seminar “Building workforce capacity with social and health care professionals dealing with substance and child abuse” held in collaboration with the Psychiatric Hospital of Khanh Hoa in Nha Trang on May 24th 2016. The event attracted more than 150 delegates from local authorities, social organizations and the media.

Number of registered addicts in the Khanh Hoa province currently stands at 1,033 persons; however, the real number could well be as high as 2,400 people, 62% are under the age of 30 (640 people). One also has to take into consideration that Khanh Hoa is a province with many tourists, who have introduced substances not commonly known in Vietnam, like cannabis, which makes the substance abuse pattern different from the rest of Vietnam. The risk of abuse of children and youth is higher, also because sex tourists lure the kids to take drugs.

NGO Fontana cooperates with local partners to implement the “Break the Circle” project in Khanh Hoa.
The Project aims at reducing substance abuse and abuse of children and youth to protect their health, safety, and quality of life, and develop a framework for mounting an effective response to drugs abuse and child/youth abuse in Khanh Hoa.

The Psychiatric Hospital is the main partner in the Khanh Hoa component and the Research Centre for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) is NGO Fontana’s strategic partner in Vietnam in charge of project efforts in Hanoi and Hochiminh City and also of some activities in Khanh Hoa.

The project gets funding from CISU Denmark and technical support from University of California (UCLA), The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), The Colombo plan as well as from the local authorities and agencies. In addition, the project benefits from Stairway and NGO Fontana know-how particularly, when it comes to technical treatment issues, communication and advocacy.

“Break the Circle” will assist in the establishment of a well functioning Community Based Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Khanh Hoa and will provide updated scientific approaches to counseling and treatment of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction for adults as well as providing strategies to prevent substance abuse among children, adolescents and youth and abuse and neglect of children, benefitting victims, family, practitioners and the society.

The project also aims to provide technical support for Khanh Hoa to scale up the implementation of the Renovation Plan on Drug Treatment, by building capacity and addressing the problem of lack of workforce experience (health practitioners, social workers, etc.) through coaching, education and training.
The message “Raise your voice – Connect and Share”calls for support from stakeholders including individuals, families and society. \

“This component requires the cooperation of a multitude of stakeholders from both Vietnam and international partners. We believe that the collaboration and connection will create significant impacts on local community in the Khanh Hoa province. Furthermore, we wish to express the joy and gratitude to the local government for the warm welcome and support of this project.”, said Mr. Preben Hansen – Chairman of the Danish NGO Fontana and representative of the Project Implementation Group.

Mr. Tai Dac Nguyen, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee in Khanh Hoa province stressed that the local government fully supports the “Break the Circle” project and will assist in anyway necessary to secure an effective and successful project implementation.

Ms. Linh Phuong Nguyen, Director of MSD stated that “Addiction is a disease, and it needs support from both families and society. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all stakeholders. We are proud to make a meaningful contribution to Khanh Hoa’s efforts to combat substance abuse and child violations

Gavin Bart Associate Professor at University of Minnesota, informed about SAMHSA’s role in this project, SAMHSA’s contribution to a better Addiction Treatment system in Vietnam, and the need for having solid training curricula and treatment guidelines and protocols.

Subsequently, MA. Hoang Huy Vu, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) made a presentation on Addiction Treatment. The presentation provided the audience with valuable information on the subject.

The event also featured a photo exhibition, a media corner and a Vietnam – Denmark cultural exchange corner.

The event received a lot of positive feedbacks from all participants.

Workshop grp

The Team + guest Organiser grp+ms minh preben


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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