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Committees join forces to fight drug use, AIDS spread

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Interior ministry secretary of state Kao Khon Dara said the committees will cooperate. Hean Rangsey

Committees join forces to fight drug use, AIDS spread

The Ministry of Interior declared the official start of operations of two committees on October 27 – an anti-drug committee and a committee focused on assisting those with HIV, AIDS, or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The anti-drug committee was established in August last year and the HIV/AIDS committee was established in 2001, but neither committee has been active.

Ministry secretary of state Kao Khon Dara said the committees were not made official until October 27. He said the two committees would cooperate to complete their work together.

“The lateness of the official declaration of these two committees was due to Covid-19 and other problems,”’ he said.

Khon Dara said the committees will take part in eliminating problems caused by drug use and AIDS.

“These two committees will prepare a plan to provide vocational training about issues related to drugs, AIDS and STIs to teachers and membership organisations in Phnom Penh and the provinces.

“The committee will also contact membership organisations to request reports each month, semester and year to calculate results for the interior ministry,” he said.

Nak Yuthea, chairman of the secretariat of the anti-drug committee, said the two committees have mutual goal of educating communities about drug use and AIDS. The main focus is on rehabilitating victims suffering from drug use or AIDS.

He said the two committees would be largely the same, except where law enforcement is concerned.

Meas Sovann, the president of the Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (DARAC), said it was good that the two committees unified in the fight against drug use and AIDS.

“It is a good thing as now we are confronting Covid-19. Using prevention measures is a good thing because we have to be careful about getting infected with other diseases such as AIDS. They are all brutal,” he said.

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