New concept on drug rehabilitation introduced

Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi | photo: Gender Ministry

Male’, Maldives – The state, on Monday, unveiled a drug rehabilitation centre at Vilingili in Gaafu Alif Atoll, introducing a new approach for treating addiction.

The centre, named ‘Dhagenaa’ is an out-patient community treatment facility is the first in Maldives aiming to provide community treatment through the collaborative efforts of authorities, clubs and NGOs and the public. According to the government, the treatment programme works towards supporting recovering addicts even after they are reintegrated within society. Although several rehabilitation facilities currently operate across the country, reportedly, none are well-connected to other authorities or maintain relations with rest of the public.

Speaking at Dhagenaa’s inauguration ceremony, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi, stated that the newly introduced concept is a pilot programme based on the successful efforts by other countries. Noting that the programme is bolstered by the best of intentions, the minister asserted that collaboration from within the community would be necessary in order for the treatment programmes to be successful.

Aishath noted that the service will be designed and implemented in a well-rounded fashion to ensure that there are no gaps that allow for addicts to feel neglected which may, in turn, lead to relapse. The minister then appealed to all present, stressing the importance of providing support to addicts in recovery.

She stated that assessing an addict in an efficient manner, to determine whether they fall under the category of high, medium or low risk, remained one of the key challenges being faced by the state. In addition to this, she noted that the this was a major project and that the actual work is yet to begin and also said she hopes that “we do not go back into hibernation after commencing these efforts”.