The Nénuphar Centre, a new Detoxification and Rehabilitation Centre which aims at providing a treatment programme for young drug addicts aged below 18, was inaugurated on Friday 05 October 2018 at the Long Mountain Hospital. The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, and several other personalities were present.

The setting up of the Nénuphar Centre, which is a first of its kind in Mauritius, is in line with Government’s objective to improving the quality of life and ensuring the well being of Mauritians.

In his address, the Minister underlined that drug abuse is a national problem which is impacting negatively on families and the society at large. Government, he underpinned, is more than resolute in its relentless efforts to sensitise the population and, in particular the youth, on the issue of drug abuse as well as formulate action plans to effectively address the drug scourge.

The Centre, Dr Husnoo underlined, will treat the youth by providing counselling services as well as psychological and social support. Substance abuse among the youth, especially in schools and colleges, is taking an upward trend, he cautioned. Teenagers are vulnerable to addictive substances due to peer pressure and lack of communication with their parents, he stated. Communication is primordial within families as it acts as a powerful tool to educate the younger generation of the ills associated with drugs and thus protects them from the drug scourge, he said.

Moreover, the Minister made an appeal to the population not to treat young people who have fallen prey to drugs as criminals, but instead help them get out of this addiction. A change in attitude towards drug addicts is necessary so as to allow them better their lives by reintegrating the society, he emphasised.

Speaking about methadone, Minister Husnoo underlined that the objective behind the provision of methadone to drug addicts is to enable them lead a normal life, earn a living and look after their families. Presently, some 400 drug addicts are receiving counselling and psychological treatment in the different Area Health Centres across the island, he indicated. The aim is to double this number in the near future, he added.

In addition, the Minister observed that drug addicts are very often prone to Hepatitis C which can cause permanent liver scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Husnoo announced, is organising a Conference on Hepatitis C in October 2018 so as to guide and educate health care professionals on treatments and elimination of Hepatitis C in Mauritius as well as to develop a large scale treatment strategy for those who have been diagnosed with this disease.

Source: Government of Mauritius