Manipur Human Rights Commission registers case over non-availability of OST medicines
OST centres are opened across the state, considering its effective treatment for Opioid dependence and harm reduction strategy among IDUs. However, OST programme is in a state of failure due to the evident negligence on the part of the implementing authorities, the CoNE said.
Updated 24 Jan 2022, 3:48 am
The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has announced frequent non-availability of Oral Substitution Therapy (OST) medicines to drug dependents coming to acquire medicines from OST centres opened across the state as a case of human rights violation and registered a case under Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The decision to this effect was arrived at on January 20, 2022 following a complaint lodged by the Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE) over the alleged denial of Oral Substitution Therapy (OST) medicines by various OST centres across the state to drug dependents that are desperate in leading a normal life and becoming a responsible and productive citizen.
MHRC has considered it as a case of human rights violation and registered the complaint lodged by CoNE as MHRC Complaint Case No 5 of 2022.
It has directed all respondents namely director of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, government of India; director, Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS), government of Manipur; chief medical officer, Kakching Community Health Centre; medical superintendent, Ukhrul district hospital and medical superintendent, Senapati district hospital to respond within three weeks’ time.
CoNE said, on various occasions, it made complaints to authorities concerned to ensure uninterrupted supply of OST medicines in all OST centres across the state after various grievances were reported at CoNE by many drug dependents undergoing OST treatment. However, no concrete action has been taken up by the competent authorities and the issue reportedly continues to creep up every now and then, it said.
The latest complaint came to CoNE on January 18, from three drug dependents who accessed OST medicines from OST centres located at Kakching Community Health Centre, Ukhrul District Hospital and Senapati District Hospital. The OST centres are opened in different centres across the state, considering its effective treatment for Opioid dependence and harm reduction strategy among IDUs.
International evidence, including Indian records, shows that OST programmes are effective in substantially reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne viruses like Hepatitis-C and B. It also immensely reduces illicit drug use, premature death from overdose, drug related criminal activities, financial burden and other stresses related to drug users and their families.
However, despite such evidence and the positive outcome of the OST programme, due to evident negligence on the part of the implementing authorities, the programme is now in a state of failure and needs to be looked into seriously, CoNE said.
First published:23 Jan 2022, 4:05 pm
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