DOH: Registry needed for drug rehab graduates

By Sarwell Meniano

September 21, 2017, 1:37 pm

TACLOBAN CITY -- In a bid to stop the recurrence of drug abuse, the Department of Health (DOH) will come up with a database of drug surrenderers who have completed rehabilitation.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said they have been consulting with the World Health Organization and other international non-government organizations to establish the registry.

“Through the database, they can be monitored easily by health professionals anywhere in the Philippines,” Ubial said during a press briefing Thursday at the City Convention Center here.

Ubial was in the city as guest of the Change Summit 2017, highlighting the collective effort of various sectors to stop illegal drugs in the city.

Ubial said it will take time to complete the registry, taking into consideration the public stigma towards former drug dependents.

She declined to disclose the timetable to complete the registry.

“We have to be very careful to protect the privacy of drug users,” the Health chief said.

The government will also tie up with the United States Agency for International Development and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Citing latest reports, the official said at least 2,563 drug users have been treated through state-run Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (TRC) nationwide since last year.

About 1.36 million drug personalities have turned themselves in as of July 2017. The health department estimated that 13,000 of them require treatment inside health facilities.

Ubial said the government is addressing the need for rehabilitation centers. Construction of eight mega TRC is now ongoing funded by the government and private donors. The PHP2.6 billion projects will be completed before the year ends.

The existing TRCs have a bed capacity of 6,000, way below than the need for 13,000 beds based on the number of surrenderers. The DOH is eyeing additional 4,000 beds after the completion of eight facilities. (PNA)