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Swat hospital expels addicts during treatment.

MINGORA -- Scores of drug-addicted patients, including children, here on Saturday protested against the district nazim and staff of Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH) for allegedly ousting them from the hospital and demanded of the health authorities to take action in the matter.

The patients said that Swat district nazim Mohammad Ali Shah and the STH medical staff on Friday evening entered the drug abuse treatment centre (DATC), summoned all the patients along with volunteer youth and ordered them to leave the hospital immediately.

'We were under treatment at the DATC in STH that staff of the hospital and nazim came and ordered us to evict the ward,' said Imran, a 13-year-old patient who was admitted in the centre.

MS says organisation looking after them had started interfering in the hospital affairs

He said that he was a heroin addict, but was recovering fast after a voluntary organisation Nawey Jwand brought him to the hospital. 'When I was almost recovered, a member of the Nawey Jwand admitted me in school. I don't know why the hospital staff and nazim kicked us out,' he said.

Another heroin addict Ajab Khan, a resident of Buktara, was also among the protesters. He said that he got addicted to heroin when he was in the college about six years ago. He said that he underwent proper treatment and the volunteer youth were taking care of him. 'After recovery, I also joined Nawey Jwand and am working as volunteer with them,' he said.

Head of the Nawey Jwand, Riaz Ahmad, said that there were over 3,000 drug addicts in Swat and about 600, including women, had been registered with his organisation.

'In February this year through district police officer I started working voluntarily in the DATC where about 120 patients have already been recovered,' he said. He claimed that the medical staff of DATC was not happy with his volunteer activities. He said that on Friday the hospital staff and nazim ousted them out along with the patients.

When contacted, STH medical superintendent Dr Jehangir Khan said that the volunteer staff of Nawey Jwand had been interfering in the hospital affairs.

'When their interference increased in the hospital matters, the district nazim, DMS of the hospital and DTAC staff collectively decided not to let the organisation work in the hospital,' he said. He said that he would call a meeting on Monday (tomorrow) to hold further discussion on the matter.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 3, 2018
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