STOP THE METHADONE PROGRAMME!

 Malulu has lost it completely

The response to the heroin epidemic presently ravaging the country was, last week, thrown in disarray culminating in an organized protest at the National Assembly by a dozen of drug addicts.

This newspaper has learned that the ten addicts were instigated by a known person from Les Mamelles on the behest of her doctor friend to stage the demonstration in a bid to undermine the new programme against drugs developed and being implemented by the Secretary of State for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation, Doctor. Patrick Herminie.

The latter’s programme, based on the Minnesota model, has as its ultimate objective the reintegration of the addicts in the workforce. This has not gone down well with certain elements within the Ministry of Health who over the last decade had overseen a chaotic methadone programme with no clear goal. The end result of this ill-advised strategy is here for all of us to see; today the number of heroin addicts has more than quadrupled, our workforce depleted and the political and the economic stability of the country very much threatened. Indeed, the methadone programme ran by the Ministry of Health from the Wellness Centre of Anse Royale has been a complete failure, with almost nothing to show in terms of success. The relapse rate approaches 100%.

But the question that begs itself is why is it that certain individuals within the drug demand reduction efforts are undermining the good work being done by the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation in a bid to maintain the status quo? This newspaper can further reliably report that one curvy lady with good connection in the Ministry of Health, stands a lot to lose if the new programme launched by the Agency succeeds. Not only will she no longer benefit from her religious benefactor overseas, but she will also lose out on the sale of stolen gold necklaces and other jewelry in a shameful trade that extends as far as Dubai and Mauritius.

What is even more alarming is that addicts are automatically ejected from the methadone programme if they do not attend mass at a specific church close to Victoria.

The accusations launched against the former Speaker at the National Assembly building by some female addicts, were to say the least outrageous, with a clear aim of tarnishing the reputation of the good doctor who obviously knows that most of these female addicts are either HIV or Hepatitis C positive.

It came as no surprise that a lot of praise was heaped on the psychiatrist Doctor Daniella Malulu who is a graduate of a substandard Psychiatric faculty from a remote town in Tanzania. It was all orchestrated.

All experts in the field of addiction agree that a public health programme should be run by a doctor trained in public health and not by a clinical doctor, which may be one of the reasons why Seychelles is today a heroin fiends’ paradise. Meanwhile, the illicit sale of methadone, which is a very addictive drug, has risen and today a small bottle of methadone fetches around SCR2000. Who is responsible for the diversion of the methadone? Who, in the Ministry of Health, has access to Methadone? Who benefits from the sale of the Methadone? These are all questions that need to be answered pending the suspension of the methadone programme being run by the Ministry of Health.

Independent

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