MHMS eyes boosting lab to test illegal drugs


MINISTRY of Health and Medical Services has identified the need to secure resources to increase analysis of illegal substances at the National Public Health Laboratory.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana said this need of resource mobilisation to support proper drug testing system at the National Public Health Laboratory has become a priority following the widespread the new drug copen in the country.      

“There is an identifying need to secure resources to increase laboratory analysis of not only copen drugs but other illegal substances that is being used by the public,” Togamana said.

He said in the meantime MHMS will try and look at other overseas referral and arrangements to do the analysis. This may include linking up with law enforcement agencies such as the RSPIF, Ministry of Police National Security and Correctional Services.

Togamana adds, the National Public Health Laboratory mainly supports our exports especially fish to EU market so support provided at the moment is only through that direction.

“The lab is capacitated to be able to assess cassava, taro so they can ascertain heavy metals if possible for to be able to know before export them overseas countries because they have certain limits of MRL that is allowed on these crops.

“Therefore to extend to substances like copen we need resources and other capacities to equip our laboratory,” Togamana said.

He echoed the above sentiments on 5th December 2022 in Parliament.


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