Enjoy our faster App experience

UAE’s e-prescription wins hands down at international drug forum

For the first time the forum hosted one-of-its-kind contest for students to help spread awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.



By Amira Agarib/principal Correspondent

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:10 PM

Dubai — The11th edition of the Hemaya International Forum on Drug Issues that concluded on Thursday saw 44 million readers and viewers follow it on Twitter. The forum this year focused on the misuse of prescription drugs, the challenges and coping strategies and aimed to identify measures to control drugs and the challenges faced by security agencies in combating it.

Lt-Col Abdul Rahman Ansari, General Coordinator of the forum, said what distinguishes the forum this year is the number of participants that has gone up to 500. Also for the first time the forum hosted one-of-its-kind contest for students to help spread awareness about the dangers of drug abuse. The competition saw participation of 40 schools.

It was organised by the Dubai Police, in cooperation with the Arab Bureau for Drugs, the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for the Middle East And North Africa, Cairo and Subregional UN Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, Abu Dhabi.

The participants said they benefited from the experience of “e-prescription” in the United Arab Emirates, and said that the strategy of updating schedules of controlled substances and the inclusion of medical and psychiatric drugs should be circulated to the Arab countries too. They beseeched the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers to address the relevant bodies in the Arab countries to develop a strategy to deal with the developments and changes on the abuse of medical and psychiatric drugs. They said the Arab countries should not only know how to face the harmful impact of such activities but also should know how to achieve a balance between combating their abuse and providing medical and scientific solutions.

Workshops

The  activities of the final day of the two-day forum included two workshops presented by experts from the UN Office for the GCC Countries, Abu Dhabi, the International Narcotics Control Board, and the Department of Human Services in the Australian Department of Health.

The  workshops included discussion of problems and obstacles due to the misuse of medical and psychiatric drugs, and sought to develop strategies to ensure that these drugs reach to patients without being leaked to others for the purpose of drug use or trafficking.

The participants also called upon the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and ministries of interior and health to hold more workshops and training courses to train workers in this field so that they can deal with the control, inspection and awareness of the dangers of the misuse of medical and psychiatric drugs. They also urged the authorities concerned to monitor medical and psychiatric drugs. They also recommended inviting the ministries of health to train doctors and pharmacists and develop strategies to address the abuse of medical and psychiatric drugs. They suggested that doctors and pharmacists should get licences to carry out their activities only after passing these courses.

They also called on the Arab League to establish a specialised research centre to teach about the effects of psychological, medical and psychiatric drugs on health as well as the social and economic impact of the drugs. They also called on educational institutions to conduct studies on mental health and to find out the right way to deal with mental illnesses, stress and pressure.

Need for new laws

They called on legislative bodies in the Arab countries to introduce some laws to deal with the abuse of medical and psychiatric drugs, and to ensure that medical drugs are prescribed to patients and are used for scientific purposes only.

 The participants thanked Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Hemaya forum; and those in charge of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Abu Dhabi; the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers; the Criminal Information Centre for Drug Control of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Qatar; for making the event a success.

 amira@khaleejtimes.com


More news from Health