National Drug Agency warns of strong illicit drug in Male’

The National Drug Agency (NDA) has issued a statement warning people of a strong illicit drug in Male’.

The NDA said that the substance has harmful effects such as seizures, breathing difficulties and that it effects the functioning of the heart leading to death.

The NDA advised people to seek the help of a doctor as soon as possible if they come across any of the stated symptoms.

The drug agency did not mention the name of the drug nor what it looked like, but stated that their free toll 1410 will provide details of the drug.

Minivan News contacted 1410 and was forwarded to the front desk where they said there was no one at the NDA who could provide details of the drug mentioned in the statement.

However, NDA Treatment Department Head Abdulla Faseeh has told local media that drug dealers have been mixing illicit drugs with depressants without considering the quantity or the type of controlled drugs they are mixing it with.

Faseeh told newspaper Haveeru that drug dealers had mixed different types of controlled prescription drugs with illicit drugs in the black market.

In March 2009, Minivan News reported a series of deaths related to heroin laced with benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs.

The combination of benzodiazepine with opiates is known to lead to coma and even death.

The 2009 deaths included a number of users committing or attempting suicide. Earlier this week, a man was reported to have hanged himself inside an unused political party campaign office.

The area was reported to have been frequented by drug addicts living in the area after the Jumhooree Party stopped conducting political activities in the area.

In February this year the first drug survey done in the Maldives was released, showing that there were an estimated 7,500 drug users in the Maldives of which the majority were young people between the ages 15 and 24.

The survey showed that cannabis was the most popular used drug, followed by alcohol and opioids. It reported that there were about 200 intravenous drug users in Male’ and 300 in the other parts of the country who are vulnerable to the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

Police statistics show that drugs related offences have increased by 16.4 percent this year in comparison to last year’s figures.


Health Protection Agency warns of viral fever in Male’

In light of what it claims is a rapid spread of viral fever in Male’, the Maldives Health Protection Agency (HPA) issued a warning Sunday (June 16) urging the public to take precautionary measures.

Local media quoted HPA Epidemiologist Dr Aishath Aroona as saying that those who contract fever were advised to avoid crowded places, cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing, and consult a doctor if the fever persists for more than three days.

“Increasing viral fever is a sign of spread of dengue. Hence the best way to counteract dengue is to guard against breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Aroona told Haveeru.

Amidst concerns about recent growth in the number of cases of viral fever and increase in patients at both ADK and Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), the HPA has refused to label the current situation as an epidemic, according to local media.

“Such spread of fever is always common in June and July. Now only we’re starting to see it. So everyone must take precautionary measures,” said Aroona.