The Thai government yesterday provided grant assistance worth some 50 million baht (almost 12 billion kip) to fund the construction of a drug treatment and rehabilitation centre at Phonhong district hospital in Vientiane province.
The Thai funding will also be used to improve the outpatient building at the hospital and buy medical equipment to treat road accident victims.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith and Deputy Prime Minster of Thailand and Minster of Foreign Affairs, General Tanasak Patimapragorn joined the ground-breaking ceremony along with ministers and other officials from the two countries.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak and his delegation also visited the Vientiane province technical school.
General Tanasak said at the ground-breaking ceremony that the Thai government has provided a grant of 50 million baht (almost 12 billion kip) to build six buildings for health services in Vientiane province.
The project to build a drug treatment and rehabilitation centre is part of the Lao government’s plan for the development of the health sector, as it needs to provide health services for the victims of drug addiction in Vientiane province and surrounding areas.
The Lao government is strongly committed to fighting drugs and crime as well as addressing the long-term harmful impacts of drugs on society, national security, stability and socio-economic development.
In addition, children and young people must be educated on the dangers of illicit drugs.
To treat drug users, the government previously built the Somsanga Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre in Vientiane.
The government is also upgrading the existing nine treatment centres in the provinces of Bokeo, Oudomxay, Huaphan, Luang Prabang, Xayaboury, Savannakhet and Champassak.
Last year, senior government officials, United Nations representatives and personnel from international organisations burned drugs at That Luang esplanade to mark the 27th International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The confiscated drugs were estimated to be worth around US$17.5 million (about 135 billion kip).
In 2013, the drugs that were burnt to mark the same day were valued at more than US$18 million (almost 140 billion kip).
The illicit drugs incinerated in 2013 included 5.2 million amp hetamine tablets, 2,212kg of dried cannabis, 307 kg of crystal methamphetamine, 18kg of compressed heroin, 1.4kg of heroin powder, and 3.2kg of a substance resembling heroin.
Source: Vientiane Times