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NHS directed to probe NGO’s report

The Senate Standing Committee on the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations (NHS) has directed the ministry to hold an inquiry into n report issued by an NGO on use of drugs in the federal capital educational institutions. The committee, which met in the chair of NHS Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, expressed concern over increasing use of drugs in the educational institutions, which was reported by a non-governmental organisation.

The committee directed the ministry to conduct a comprehensive survey and compile a report on drug use and submit it to the committee.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Capt (Retd) Mushtaq informed the committee that the local administration was taking action against the sale of tobacco within 50 meters of the educational institutions. He said that around 21 tobacco shops had been sealed while teams were constituted to conduct information-based raids on such shops to stop sale of tobacco to the students.

He also informed the committee that 16 “Sheesha” cafes had been closed to discourage the unhealthy practice in youth. He said that several other steps were also being taken to encourage the youth to quit smoking.

The committee chairman directed the departments concerned to verify the facts which were reported by an NGO regarding use of drugs in the educational institutions.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) officials also briefed the committee on use of drugs in the federal capital universities.

According to the officials, students of Quaid-e-Azam University, NUST and Comsats are reportedly involved in drug use.

Meanwhile, talking to The Nation, an official of MHS said that use of Sheesha is already banned in public place while legislation is under process regarding banning it completely.

Senator Mian Atteque expressed annoyance over absence of minster, secretary and CEO Drap in the meeting.

The committee expressed concern over the use of unregistered stents in the hospitals and decided to discuss the issue in the Friday’s meeting.

Basharat, Rahul. NHS directed to probe NGO’s report. The Nation, February 7, 2017.

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