The following letter was issued by the National Drug Agency to Minivan News February 24, 2013 in response to the story “Experts lambast results of US$2 million National Drug Use Survey” published February 20, 2013.
The National Drug Agency is highly concerned about the certain misinformation mentioned in the article named, “Experts lambast results of US$2 million National Drug Use Survey” on the 20th February 2013 online edition of Minivan News.
The information in the mentioned article was not verified by any of the concerned agencies related to the recently released National Drug Use Survey (NDUS) report, namely National Drug Agency (NDA), United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) and Inova Pvt Ltd.
The NDUS research is one of the activities from among more than 35 major activities carried out over the past three years under the project named “Strengthening the national response to prevent drug abuse in the Maldives”.
Hence the survey budget which is substantially a small amount of the overall budget of expenditure pertaining to the NDUS research, as informed by the UNODC is USD $170,000 only, for the period of two years spent on the research.
Apart from the misinformed expenditure amount, the article includes other misinformation, inaccuracies, and misinterpretations including a lot of factual errors.
National Drug Agency remains concerned of the message portrayed due to misinformation, and urge Minivan News to verify and substantiate information received before it is published. The NDA recognize the influence of media and reiterate the importance of presenting unbiased and factual information.
In this regard, National Drug Agency would like to take this opportunity to invite Minivan News to clarify the facts and information related to the National Drug Use Survey (NDUS) and bring about the necessary corrections to the factual errors and the misinformation mentioned in the article stated above.
Lubna Mohamed Zahir Hussain
Lubna Mohamed Zahir Hussain is State Minster for Health and the Chairperson of the National Drug Agency
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