Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines

EU's support to the Philippine Health Agenda

Bruxelles, 27/03/2017 - 05:04, UNIQUE ID: 170327_7
Press releases

During the past days there have been a number of articles about the European Union’s cooperation with the Philippines authorities in the fight against drugs. Some of these have been misleading, and the EU Delegation would therefore like to offer the following clarifications:

1.    At no time has the EU Delegation suggested, discussed, proposed or considered the use of any substitution drugs when treating addiction to methamphetamine (shabu), or any other drug addiction in the Philippines.

2.    The EU, in cooperation with World Health Organization Country Office for the Philippines, international and Filipino experts, is working with the Department of Health (DOH), the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), civic officials, and selected barangays to implement a pilot program focusing on the health and social welfare of individuals who have used shabu and have a wish to achieve or sustain recovery. The program aims to support recovery from addiction, while keeping families together and facilitating development of social and job skills.   

3. Together with colleagues in DOH and civic authorities, we are developing plans for model pilot Recovery Clinics and Recovery Homes. These will be fully voluntary facilities and will serve as a step-up level of care for patients who require additional support to community support measures.

The vision includes the following elements.

•    No medication (this is a psychosocial program of counselling).

•    Entirely voluntary.

•    Patient medical record privacy and confidentiality.

•    Individual and group counselling methods.

•    Family education meetings and family therapy.

•    Linkages to community support measures: 

  • Vocational skills training

  • Faith based support

  • Sports and recreation

  • Recovery Homes (halfway houses)

The European Union has actively supported the DOH for many years. Over the past decade support has amounted to €120 million (Php 6.5 billion). This support has been mainly channelled through DOH budget. It also includes programmes improving maternal and child health in remote areas; supporting first line health care; enhancing supply chain management to distribute medicines to rural health units and first line clinics; or financing dental buses enabling dental care to reach many in need who otherwise would have no access.

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