March 2, 2018
The Department of Health (DOH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched this week a seminar on introducing evidence-based relapse prevention program for illegal drug users in the Philippines.
The activity is part of an ongoing cooperation between DOH and JICA to boost capacity of the Philippines on illicit drug treatment and rehabilitation.
Said assistance is one of the outcomes of the Philippines-Japan Summit Meeting in 2016 between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that includes among others, support for the Philippines' treatment and rehabilitation services for drug users.
"The seminar is an opportunity to present results of the baseline study on illicit drug use in the Philippines. Different government agencies, development partners, civil society organizations, as well as academic institutions here and in Japan will join the seminar to share initiatives to reduce drug use in the Philippines," said DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-An.
End of last year, DOH and JICA signed the Record of Discussion for the 5-year technical cooperation project Introducing Evidence-Based Relapse Prevention Program to Drug Dependence and Treatment (IntERlaPP).
Under the cooperation, JICA has dispatched Japanese experts on drug treatment and rehabilitation.
In addition to the technical cooperation, JICA and DOH signed a 1.85 billion yen grant aid "Program for Consolidated Rehabilitation of Illegal Drug Users" or CARE that seeks to establish a DOH TRC and improve operational and design standards of TRCs in the country.
In all, JICA's development assistance aims to provide opportunity to drug dependents reduce the risk of relapse, and integrate themselves into society.
Aside from drug treatment programs, JICA has been actively supporting DOH's advocacy since the 1970s in areas such as maternal and child health services (MCH), and research and development on infectious diseases among other health challenges.
Japanese experts and Filipino counterparts on drug dependence treatment are working together for a prevention program for illegal drug users in the Philippines