President visits Apdar centres | 23 May 2020
President Danny Faure yesterday morning visited the Agency for Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (Apdar) centres.
The aim of the visit was for President Faure to thank the staff and to show his appreciation for the work that they are doing to help victims of drug abuse, especially during and in the post coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
President Faure first visited Apdar’s Medically Assisted Treatment Clinic (MAT) at the former Youth Centre at English River. After following the health procedures in place against COVID-19, he was given a guided tour of the medical facility, in the company of the secretary of state responsible for Apdar, Dr Patrick Herminie, and its chief executive Geralda Desaubin.
Starting from the reception, President Faure interacted with the doctors, nurses, counsellors and psychologists among other support staff as he toured the doctor’s room, consultation room, session room, the psychologist’s office, among other quarters in the clinic.
He was also given an overview of the clinic’s operations by the nurse in charge, Adelle Sanguignon. Previously the MAT clinic was based at Providence and for logistic reasons, Apdar moved in at the ex-Youth Centre in July 2019.
President Faure and the Apdar delegation then headed to the Providence Industrial Estate notably to the KB Emporium Building to visit the drug abuse rehabilitation headquarters on the 3rd floor. There, like at the MAT clinic, he interacted with staff at the reception, prevention units, accounts section, legal section and human resource and administration, among other offices. The visit ended with a meeting with the management staff.
The director for prevention and training unit, Yvana Theresine, said that they were greatly honoured by the visit of President Faure to the agency which had given them the opportunity to raise issues and queries with him in regards to their work and the services being offered.
Ms Theresine explained that the discussion with President Faure were mainly centred on resources for Apdar, on the rehabilitation centre to be built at Bon Espoir, what is being done to reduce the supply of dangerous drugs so as not to jeopardise work being done on the demand side and also on allowance benefit during the pandemic lockdown.
She claimed that the visit by the president has really boosted the morale of the staff amid the many unfounded critics against Apdar on social media.
Ms Theresine added that the situation might have been different during the lockdown, a vision she noted was also shared by President Faure, in regards to clients not respecting the health regulations in place among other social impacts, had the agency discontinued with the distribution of methadone (depressant drug used for treatment heroine) against the backdrop of increase stimulant drugs such as cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy, mostly common among the youths.
She claimed that the president had proclaimed to continue to support Apdar in its endeavours and staff development, including the construction of the rehabilitation centre at Bon Espoir.
Ms Theresine stated that there are 3000 plus clients registered for treatment with Apdar and during the partial lockdown, the agency re-strategised its working plan and increased methadone distribution points on Mahé (from four places to forty places), Praslin (from two places to seven places) and La Digue (from one place to five places).
She further stated the youngest client registered on Apdar programme (not methadone) is 13 years old. She noted that evidence from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey 2015, show that there are individuals that started using drugs as young as 7 years.
She claimed that Apdar’s programme have impacted positively on the society in terms of crime reduction, as more clients have turned to working, and the spreading of diseases such as hepatitis C, as fewer people are sharing infected needles.
Apdar, which was officially launched in August 2017, moved into its head office in its new premises at KB Emporium Building in June 2019 from its previous base at the City House at Providence.
The accompanying photos taken by Thomas Meriton show some highlights of President Faure’s visit to Apdar’s offices yesterday.