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coca writeup2018A documented number of sixty seven reformed and empowered civilians from barangays Dugyan, Obong and Tabon have been serviced for random drug testing, substance abuse assessment and HIV testing and counseling today, January 23, 2018 at the second floor of the Dalaguete Health Management Complex. The municipal health office team of doctors and nurses, in coordination with the Department of Health, Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO), local government unit as represented by MADAC focal person Joel Aliñabon, barangay councilors and the municipal police officers headed by newly appointed Chief Inspector Rolan Alicer altogether joined forces to successfully implement the initial assessment for reformed surrenderees in preparation for community-based treatment and rehabilitation.

The activity served as a one-stop venue for assessment and provision of brief interventions concerning drug use and dependence, as well as it is highly informative with brief topics of various keypoints for health. Dr. Estanisla Pernita Almagro-Bautista, municipal health officer, provided the overview of the activity while especially stressing the need to assess, measure and intervene on the risk of health concerns accompanying drug dependence. Mr. Jun Salgado, medical technologist from the Provincial Health Office provided pertinent information regarding HIV and AIDS which are two of the most common concurring diseases affecting such individuals. Chief Inspector Rolan Alicer also encouraged the participants to be committed in their journey towards returning to healthy, functional individuals in society.

All participating reformers have willingly submitted themselves for testing and intervention, and are hopeful together with the organizing teams aforementioned above in the implementation of a community-based treatment and rehabilitation strategy, with more pertinent activities such as these which highly benefits the concerned group to effectively discuss the ill effects of drug use and dependence, as well as address issues on stigma, fear of social, economic and legal consequences, and issue treatment compliance using a public health approach.

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