The Minister of Health and Environment, Honourable Rudyard Spencer, launched Jamaica's first Integrated Community Clinics on Tuesday, January 28, 2008 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. The ten (10) community centres will serve substance abusers, persons living with HIV/AIDS, victims of trauma and violence, children with delinquent behaviours and their parents.
According to the Minister of Health and Environment, there is awell-known link between drug abuse and high-risk behaviours such as unprotected sex and crime and violence,which have a significant impact on the public health system.
It is clear that a successful substance use and abuse prevention and treatment programme would have a positive impact on cross cutting areas such as crime and violence and HIV/AIDS," Minister Spencer said.
The programme is sponsored by the National Health Fund (NHF) to the tune of $11.8 million. Rosemarie Lee, public information officer at the NHF, said any programme aimed at prevention of drug abuse is worth funding. "But it is ourv iew that one of the most effective ways to assist thosewho have fallen prey to this negative habit is through a programme of support at the community level," she said.
The Project is the first of many for the National Council on Drug Abuse for the year 2008. Approximately five thousand (5000) individuals are expected to benefit.
Parents with delinquent and troubled teens are to benefit from this initiative as well. The NCDA continues to provide prevention programmes in schools and communities across Jamaica.