Government welcomes Drug Prevention and Treatment Programme

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has welcomed the Training and Certification Programme for Drug Violence Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation (PROCCER) noting that it complements its own efforts to address these areas.

An opening ceremony on Monday (July 21), welcomed the local drug treatment specialists who will be engaged in the programme. Minister of Health the Honourable Marcella Liburd highlighted the importance of the project which was designed in 2006 by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS).

“It is important for us to carry out these training exercises because everything must be evidence based,” she stated, pointing to the standard policy of the Ministry of Health. “… We need to really inform the public as to what we are doing and how it is done. It is not done by emotion, … it is evidence based and that is the critical part of this particular exercise so I’m very happy for the training.”

PROCCER Contact Person Dr. Sharon Halliday revealed that the motto of the prevention and treatment programme is: “Prevention and Treatment is only as Good as the Workforce that Delivers It.” As such she revealed that six trainers from St. Kitts and Nevis received initial training earlier this year so as to pass the knowledge and techniques on to a wider group.`

Localized training will begin in October with weekly classes. The 70 professionals will be divided in half. One section will address the area of prevention while the other, treatment.

“I’m really very pleased, Dr. Halliday, that we are having the prevention side [emphasized] so that we can have early intervention, early detection and make sure that people can understand why this is not the way to go in terms of drug abuse,” stressed Minister Liburd. She also applauded the component focusing on the role of the family in the prevention and treatment process noting that its support is vital to the transformation of individuals at-risk.

The participants will engage in theory and practice sessions up until April 2015 when they will be required to complete an exam. Successful candidates will be certified by the University of the West Indies (UWI).

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