The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan inaugurated the new 300-bed hospital and shelter for treatment of drug addicts in Kabul city on Tuesday.
Inaugural ceremony of the hospital was attended by second vice-president, Mohammad Karim Khalili, Minister of Public Health Dr. Suraya Dalil, representatives of some relevant organs and the number lawmakers from both houses of the national assembly of Afghanistan.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Suraya Dalil, Minister of Public Health expressed her concerns towards the rising in the number of drug addicts around the world, particularly in Afghanistan adding that some experts believe that the deaths from drug addiction is higher than any bloodiest war in the world.
In accordance with new reports of the United Nations, approximately 272 million drug addicts are living in the world, among them 10 million are in the region and one million in Afghanistan, said Dr. Dalil, adding that in Afghanistan 80 percent of the addicts are men, 13 percent are women and 7 percent are children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that only 25 percent of the drug users need to be hospitalized and remaining can be recovered with other methods of treatment such as; mental, psychological and social interventions, the Minister continued.
Explaining the activities of MoPH in respect to treatment of addicts, Dr. Dalil said her ministry is providing services for treatment of addicts in 17 provinces of the country by 500 professional medical staff, adding there are 50-bed hospitals for treatment of addicts in Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Jawzjan provinces, and the 20-bed hospitals in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Samangan, Faryab, Ghor, Farah, Nemroz, Bamyan, Ghazni, Konar, and Laghman provinces.
There are 10 centers for treating of drug addicts in the country and the management and responsibility of 21 centers directly belong to the MoPH with having 1,100 beds.
Meanwhile in the ceremony, Mohammad Karim Khalili, second vice-president spoke on the issue, calling on the country's judicial organs to place harsher penalties on drug smugglers as he inaugurated a hospital for drug addicts in the country's capital.
Mohammad Karim Khalili said that government anti-narcotic efforts will not have a positive result if the smugglers are not prosecuted in country.
"This is true that a number of smugglers have been arrested but the main smugglers and drug traders have not been prosecuted, so I ask Afghanistan's Attorney General and High Court to prosecute the smugglers " Khalili said.
The new 300-bed hospital in south Kabul's Jangalak area will have 24-hour treatment for addicts, built amid government concern over the high number of addicts in the country.