Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 24, 2007

Ministry Denies Handing Over Programme To NGOs

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:46 am

PUTRAJAYA, May 23 (Bernama) — The Health Ministry has denied handing over a health hazard reduction programme to non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“All health hazard reduction programmes are under the Health Ministry and the ministry is still the main agency in leading the programmes,” Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek told reporters at his office here today.
He was commenting on a local English daily report which said that the government had handed over the programme to give out condoms and syringes to prostitutes and drug addicts to NGOs including the Malaysian Aids Council in the fight against the spread of HIV/Aids.
The newspaper also quoted the Health Ministry’s deputy director of disease control Dr Jalal Halil Khalil as saying that the move was because Malaysia, as an Islamic country, could not be seen as an agent advocating the use of condoms.
The report was not true and inaccurate, Dr Chua said but admitted that NGOs were involved in the programme.
“We are aware of the sensitivity involved. The government, through the Health Ministry, will do all it can to reduce HIV/AIDS infection,” he said.
He said the government had allocated RM300 million for the programme and also to educate the public from this year till 2010.
Through the health hazard reduction programme, the ministry also gave out methadone to addicts so that they take drugs orally instead of intravenously, he said.
He said the government hoped the spread of HIV/Aids through intravenous injections could be reduced by 25 per cent by 2010.
Presently, 70 per cent of about 75,000 people with HIV/Aids in the country are addicts who take drugs intravenously.

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