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82pc contracted HIV via drugs, says Director

Published on: Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: Some 82.2 per cent of those with HIV contracted via drug abuse comprise the country's working class, according to Health Ministry statistics.

Based on the figure, a total of 90.8 per cent from 97,345 individuals having HIV in the country are men, with some 70.6 per cent caused by drug abuse through syringe sharing.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Department Director, Mohammad Razak Ismail on Tuesday the Ministry expects the number to rise to 119,471 by 2015.

"Drug abuse has left a negative impact that could destroy communities," he said during the launching of City Hall's new code of practice, here.

Razak said existing efforts to curb the menace and the epidemic remained confined mainly in schools and communities at large.

Meanwhile, City Hall has taken a bold step in introducing two in-house codes of practice and policy to prevent and curb these rising concerns.

It has introduced the City Hall Policy on Drug Abuse, Alcohol and Health Hazardous Substance; and Policy and Code of Practice on Prevention and Management of HIV/Aids.

Speaking before a 500-strong crowd of City Hall staff, Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir elaborated on the new sets of policies, including several measures, to allow the new codes to prevail.

These include, setting up a Support System in the Workplace for HIV, Aids patients and rehabilitation drug abuse programmes, initiate random checks on staff and setting up penalties for offences.

"Staff found having, using and under the influence of either drugs or alcohol or other hazardous substance, will face appropriate disciplinary actions including risk of being sacked from City Hall employment," he said.