'Rs 174 crore corpus fund boosts Punjab's drug de-addiction initiatives'

  • Bhawani Negi, Hindustantimes.com, Shimla
  • Updated: Jul 07, 2015 19:00 IST

Punjab government's initiatives for cancer and drug de-addiction have got a boost through creation of a Rs 174 crore corpus fund under the cancer and drug addiction treatment infrastructure fund (CADA Fund).

With this, as many as 22,669 persons have undergone complete detoxification, while 461 persons are currently in detoxification barrack and 718 are in rehabilitation barrack.

These facts emerged as one of the best practices across the country during the recently held national summit on "Good and Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Healthcare Systems in India" organised by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, and Himachal Pradesh's health department.

Giving his presentation at the summit, Punjab National Health Mission director and health secretary Hussan Lal said, "As a lot of resources needed to be generated for this project, Punjab came up with the Cancer and Drug Treatment Infrastructure Fund Act in 2013."

"The act has a provision to levy cess on different items that is collected under the CADA Fund for treating cancer and drug addiction treatment infrastructure. As a result, funds are flowing by collecting 0.25% of purchase value of Basmati Paddy, 2% value of auction of any property, 1% of any infrastructure project and 33% of tax on tobacco products," he added.

He said the problem of drug addiction with high prevalence rate was based on various news items and media reports. However, as there was no scientific study at hand, the state government requested the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct one.

As per Lal's presentation, the project's objectives were reduction in drug demand, awareness, identification through community participation, detoxification and de-addiction, healthcare and harm reduction, rehabilitation through counselling and de-stigmatisation, capacity building of human resource, creation of treatment and rehabilitation infrastructure.

Therefore, a plan was prepared under the guidance of experts from Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Lal said, adding that rehabilitation centres at the district level were under construction for patients' skill development, vocational training, employment and counselling.

Social integration efforts include awareness campaigns, sensitisation and counselling of family members. Furthermore, monitoring and evaluation was evolved that comprised drug abuse monitoring system, administrative review, social audits and external evaluation.

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