Medics speak out on narcotics bill

Medical specialists want the government to come up with vibrant measures of controlling narcotics used for medical purposes. They made the remarks while reacting to a bill that allows the use of narcotics for medical purposes.The draft law is currently in parliament.Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, a paediatrician, said that narcotics can only be used depending on the condition and circumstances of the patient. 
 Kigali  paediatrician Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi
Kigali paediatrician Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi

Medical specialists want the government to come up with vibrant measures of controlling narcotics used for medical purposes.

They made the remarks while reacting to a bill that allows the use of narcotics for medical purposes.

The draft law is currently in parliament.

Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, a paediatrician, said that narcotics can only be used depending on the condition and circumstances of the patient.

“A case in point is, if a mother is addicted to drugs and has been taking those drugs throughout the pregnancy period, it is likely that the child will be born with the same drug content in his body,” he said.

“So, a paediatrician has to give the baby a very small content of the same narcotic to neutralise the content in the baby’s body.

However, I haven’t yet witnessed such a case in all my patients,” Mucumbitsi said.

Dr. Bonaventure Nzeyimana, a general practitioner, noted that there are situations that require giving a patient narcotics, but added that but if they were to use narcotics for medical purposes, there should be clear ways of controlling the usage.
 

“If a patient is in deep pain, lacking sleep, or undergoing surgery, there are particular narcotics that a doctor can prescribe or use on a patient,” he said.

Another specialist, Dr. Emmanuel Nkusi, a Neurosurgeon, said that narcotics can also be used on cancer patients during treatment.

The acting Chief Executive Officer King Faisal hospital, Dr. Alex Butera, said that narcotics are very important in the management of severe pain but are very addictive.

“This is why they have to be used with a lot of caution; caution in the dosage and caution in the period they can be used,” said Dr. Butera, an orthopaedic specialist.

“Narcotics are also important in terminal management of patient; for example, a patient with terminal cancer can be allowed to take narcotics so that they get a different feeling and go to heaven peacefully.”

Dr. Butera added that narcotics also work well in post operations associated with major pain. He, however, hastened to add that they (narcotics) should not be prescribed regularly.

The bill allowing the usage of narcotics for medical purposes is currently in its final phase in parliament. It clearly states how the drugs would be managed and controlled during usage.

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