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Kapurthala to roll out mobile OOAT clinic to manage rush of addicts during lockdown

With lockdown hitting the supply chain of drugs, few OOAT clinics have seen a surge in footfall of patients with 300 to 400 patients visiting some on a daily basis. Doctors see this as an opportunity to register more addicts in the state amid the coronavirus crisis.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: April 12, 2020 2:05:46 am
coronavirus, mobile Out-Patient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT), ooat centres, coronavirus lockdown, india lockdown, punjab drug addicts, indian express news Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Deepti Uppal said that the project has been launched under District De-addiction and Rehabilitation Society, Kapurthala. (Representational Photo)

In first of its kind project in the state, the Kapurthala district administration has decided to start mobile Out-Patient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinic to help drug addicts and to avoid overcrowding at various OOAT centres in the district.

With lockdown hitting the supply chain of drugs, few OOAT clinics have seen a surge in footfall of patients with 300 to 400 patients visiting some on a daily basis. Doctors see this as an opportunity to register more addicts in the state amid the coronavirus crisis.

But to achieve this goal without compromising the social distancing rules, the mobile van has been launched to now move from village to village where the registration of the patients will be done and the medicine will be provided to them.

The service will start from Tuesday when the van will go to four villages on the first day, including Sandhu Chatha, Jallowal, Khusropur and Sindhwan Dona. In each village, the van will remain stationed for an hour or so and prior announcements will be made in these villages by the district administration so that patients can come to get registered and take medicine. Every day four villages will be covered.

“We want to register as many addicted to drugs as we can during this period and at a later stage the foolproof strategy can be made to retain them with the OOAT centres and get them out of this addiction,” said Dr Sandeep Bhola, who is incharge of this project as well as Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation Society — Navkiran, located in Civil Hospital Premises in Kapurthala.

He added that it is difficult for patients to reach OOAT clinics during the lockdown. “The van will go to different villages four days in a week and after that the registered patients will get the medicine at their home only,” he added.

It is learnt that the Kala Sanghia OOAT centre had been getting 350 patients daily making it difficult to manage the rush.

Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Deepti Uppal said that the project has been launched under District De-addiction and Rehabilitation Society, Kapurthala. “It is also a great opportunity to make people aware of COVID -19,” she added.

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