By Usman Shuaibu
The leadership of Women Friendly Initiative (WFI) has sensitised the media personnel as well as law enforcement agencies on drugs prevention.
This was contained in a release issued by the management of WFI at the end of a one day sensitisation workshop and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.
The release said: “Drug abuse is a global health problem. Without doubt drugs have been of tremendous benefit to man but it has been acknowledged that the inappropriate use of same can do immense harm not only to individuals but to the society at large”.
“To react to this continuing problem, the release pointed out that “Women Friendly Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation committed to empowering young persons, women and children, especially the less privileged to overcome social, economic and cultural factors that limit their ability to make fully informed choices in collaboration with is to implementing a one year project aimed at increasing stakeholders awareness on substance abuse prevention, treatment and care in Nasarawa State and Federal Capital Territory”.
According to the release, the sensitization targets religious leaders, health care practitioners, patent medicine vendors, women leaders, youth leaders, media professionals and law enforcement agents.
“The programme is developed specifically to increase knowledge and awareness on various drug issues, as well as to reduce the stigma associated with drug use. The evidence based training package draws upon the latest information, research, policy and strategic directions to better understand drug use, dependence , prevention, treatment and care”, the release stated.
The release expressed hope that the intervention would assist stakeholders to see drug dependency as a public issue that needed medical attention not criminalization.
In an interview with newsmen during the sensitization workshop, the Chief Executive Officer of WFI, Dr. Francis Eremutha, appealed to the government of the day to create more rehabilitation centers where the drug users would be counseled for good.
He also pleaded with the law enforcement agencies not to arrest the drug users unnecessarily, instead they should take the drug users to rehabilitation centers for proper counseling.
He then call on the religious leaders, NGOs, parents as well as individuals to join hands with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to wage war against drug users, and urged the government to deem it fit to provide the needed facilities for NDLEA as well equipped the rehabilitation centers.
Eremutha, however, used the sensitisation workshop to reveal that the leadership of WFI had awarded scholarship to the less privileged ones in the society to pursue their education up to the institutions of higher learning, adding that the organisation also in support of the people living with HIV/AIDS, especially the women.