Hands on progress: Rehabilitation millstone in Qena

Nesmahar Sayed , Thursday 25 Nov 2021

The first treatment and rehabilitation centre built by recovered addicts was handed over before its inauguration in Qena governorate.

Drug rehabilitation in Egypt

Upon the directives of Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine Al-Qabaj, who is also chairman of the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA), the FDCTA completed the staffing structure of the new Al-Azeema Centre for the rehabilitation and treatment of drug addicts in Qena, which was built in cooperation with South Valley University. Construction was completed and the building was handed over for inauguration soon.

The centre will provide all treatment services to patients from Qena and neighbouring governorates for free and according to international standards. FDCTA Director Amr Osman, who is also assistant to Ministerof Social Solidarity, along with the President of Ganoub Al-Wadi (South Valley) University Youssef Gharabawi are on committees to choose the staffing structure at the rehab and treatment centre in Qena. Osman participated in the committee to choose the staff, including administrators, workers and technicians. Gharabawi was also present to ensure the application of correct measures when choosing candidates.

The FDCTA gave all applicants drug tests to ensure they do not use drugs, shortly ahead of the implementation of new legislation that requires government employees to be drug free.

Al-Azeema Centre in Qena, is the first rehabilitation and treatment centre in the world that is built by recovered addicts. It has the capacity of 92 beds for overnight stays, outpatient clinics, sports halls, a quintet soccer field (pls check), physical therapy , table

tennis and billiards facilities. There is also a complex of workshops for vocational training in professions needed in the labour market. Health services are confidential and free of charge to all patients.

At the workshops of FDCTA’s Azeema centres, recovered addicts designed and built furniture and carpentry for the new centre in Qena, which will open soon. This is part of the “With Our Hands” initiative which employs recovered addicts in furnishing new rehab centres.

Fun education

“You Are Stronger Than Drugs” festival sponsored by the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA)  reaches the villages of Haya Karima (Decent Life) in Qena governorate, to develop the skills of children and teach them about the harm of smoking.

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine Al-Qabaj gives directives to continue awareness programmes on the harm of drug abuse to guard youth against addiction. Some 250 children participate in storytelling workshops to explore artistic talents and use them to spotlight the harm of smoking.

The FDCTA, chaired by Qabaj, launched the “You Are Stronger Than Drugs” festival in villages that are the focus of the presidential initiative “Haya Karima” in Qena. The festival aims to raise the awareness of children about the dangers of drug abuse and addiction, through a variety of interactive activities and techniques including artistic, cultural and athletic events to probe the creativity and thinking of children between the ages of six and 15 years. Also, to develop their skills for communication as well as community work, and linking these skills to confront the issue of drug abuse.

Qabaj gave directives to increase awareness campaigns for children about the dangers of smoking, as well as cultural and sports events that are age appropriate and engaging for children, in cooperation with relevant agencies. As well as hosting awareness programmes among youth and other categories, to protect them from the scourge of addiction.

Children were educated on how to handle problems and make good decisions, as well as discovering the talents of the children and using them to educate against smoking and drug abuse. Also, correcting misunderstandings about smoking and drugs to raise environmental and health awareness among children. Also, sports and brain games for all age groups and storytelling of “You Are The Hero” prepared by FDCTA, in coordination with international soccer striker Mohamed Salah, to educate children about the harm of smoking and drugs.

FDCTA Director Amr Osman, who is also Assistant to Minister of Social Solidarity, said the “You Are Stronger Than Drugs” festival is part of the Fund’s continuous initiatives for raising awareness against drug abuse. In the past, festivals were held in newly developed areas that are alternatives to slums, such as Al-Asmarat, Al-Mahrousa, Bashayer Al-Kheir and villages targeted by the Haya Karima initiative.

The festival included artistic performances, colouring books, and creative activities that are age appropriate, a “smokes and ladders” game board which shows that smokers cannot move to higher levels because smoke and drugs make them slide down. Meanwhile, those who do not smoke can move up the ladder and achieve their goals, and have the ability to think clearer and make good decisions, unlike those who smoke.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 25 November 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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