WHATEVER cynics may say, it is an undeniable fact–as students of anthropology may attest that culture personifies the dos and don’ts in the live of a given ethnic, tribal, racial or national community.
Sheer logic dictates that any cultural traits that negate the long-cherished positive ones must be eradicated and, if need be, replaced.
That has been borne out vividly by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, who opened a methadone clinic in Mbeya recently, to cater for people who have been enslaved by drugs, from which they find it pretty difficult to detach.
The thrust of the medical facility is dispensation of methadone (Dolophine), a schedule II opioid analgesic, for those who abuse heroin and other opioids and can be administered in pill or form.
Experts tell us that it is used to block the effects of opiate pain medications, including morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and other semi-synthetic opioids. Whereas that form of treatment must be prescribed by a qualified doctor, it is not a cure.
This may be puzzling and upsetting. That is neutralized by the fact that the medication has been proven to be effective during the treatment and rehabilitation process as part of a comprehensive treatment programme.
Evidence to that end lies in the post-treatment signs that include reduction or avoidance of opioid withdrawal symptoms, decrease in opioid cravings, blocking of the effects of illicit opioids and ceasing of a physical need for opioid substances.
Those are veritable signs that the enslaved person is on track towards full recovery. The prime minister’s move was driven by the compelling need to fill the vacuum created by the drug addiction culture, through creating an environment for kicking the destructive habit and replacing it with positive ones.
It is significant that the clinic he set in motion within Mbeya Referral Hospital can reportedly serve up to 1,500 – a considerably high figure of potential ‘lost and found’ youth.
The premier deserves kudos, as does the government at large, over its eagerness to rehabilitate stray youngsters, rather than letting them waste away as a good-for-nothing species.
Deserving salutations, too are the sponsors–the US Department of Defence-Walter REED Program (WRP), and President’s Emergency Plan for Aids relief (PEPFAR) with technical assistance from the US Centre for Disease Control AND Prevention (CDC).