KARACHI: Taking exception to a video clip that went viral on social media showing three “students” allegedly using illicit drugs on the campus of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), the caretaker health minister has asked the vice chancellor of the university to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within five days.

The video, which has also been broadcast on television channels, showed two females and a male student allegedly smoking illicit drugs in a DUHS cafeteria.

“This behaviour is deeply concerning and tarnishes the reputation of all honourable medical professionals, not just in Sindh, but throughout the country. Doctors are esteemed symbols of pride and integrity, serving as role models for our youth.

“Witnessing such actions reflects poorly on the profession as a whole. In particular, the exhibition of such behaviour occurring at Dow, widely regarded as one of Pakistan’s prestigious institutions, is shocking and demands immediate action,” says a Feb 22 letter by Health Minister Dr Saad Khalid Niaz.

It calls for an inquiry to identify those involved, followed by initiation of strict disciplinary proceedings against the wrongdoers.

Meanwhile, a DUHS spokesperson has stated that the university is looking into the matter and that necessary action will be taken as soon as the inquiry is completed.

“The university may take help from the law enforcement agencies, if needed,” he said.

It’s important to mention here that growing use of illicit drugs especially in educational institutions has emerged as a major problem in recent years, attracting attention of the media as well as authorities.

A day earlier, the health department issued a notification asking government officials to implement the 2002 ordinance on prohibition of smoking and protection of non-smokers in letter and spirit.

The Feb 21 order is sent to commissioners, the Chief Police Officer, Director General, Health Services, Sindh and Hyderabad, Chief Executive Officer of the Sindh Healthcare Commission, district health officers, deputy commissioners, and senior superintendents of police across the province.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2024

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