Burundi to import methadone to fight drug addiction
As the world Monday marked the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, Burundi pledged to import methadone to help the youth avoid drug abuse.
"The Burundian public health and AIDS control ministry has understood that drug abuse is a health problem in Burundi. It is for this reason that the (Burundian health) ministry is going to do its best to import methadone to help young people avoid drug abuse," said Innocent Nkurunziza, director of the Burundian national integrated program for the fight against non-transmissible chronic diseases.
Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs.
He was speaking in a ceremony organized by two local organizations committed in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the celebration of the world drug day.
Nkurunziza indicated that "precise figures" on drug users are not available, adding that there are three centers dealing with them in the east African nation.
"Those centers are located in the capital Bujumbura, in the northern province of Ngozi and in the central province of Gitega. The health ministry plans to set up two more services and will continue to sensitize the youth to avoid drug abuse," Nkurunziza said.