Mombasa, KENYA:Kenya has joined other countries in the world in marking international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
In Mombasa county, the event was celebrated at Tononoka grounds, where school going children and youths came in large numbers, the theme of the event was dubbed ‘Listen First’.
Simeon Musa* not his real name, is a reformed heroin drug addict who is under methadone programme at Coast General hospital. He said that his health has improved after he started taking the methadone daily.
“ Am grateful to the county government for finding it necessary to bring methadone clinic in Mombasa, most of the youths are affected with drugs such as cocaine, heroine and even marijuana. Since I started taking methadone, my health is improving tremendously and the urge of heroine is fading away day in day out.”He said.
According to county director of health Dr. Shem Pata, parents and guardians have an obligation of listening to their children and youths so as to help them grow healthy, a move that will enable them to open up on the matters that bother them.
“Children are in danger of indulging into use of drug abuse and we are pleading with parents to engage with their children so know the problems they are having and their after to give them advice.” He said.
Dr. Pata further urged the police to be on look to nab the drug barons and suppliers.
“Police have to make sure the supply of drug abuse has reduced and for the public to be watchdog in the society so as to fight this drag menace. ”Said Dr. Pata.
Dr. Saade Abdallah from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Mombasa Office, said prevention of substance abuse is a key target under sustainable development goals.
She said, ‘Listen First’ campaign seeks to build on the successes of these initiatives, and it also raises awareness of the fact that ‘drug use prevention based on the science is an effective investment in the wellbeing of children, youths, families and communities.
“Research shows that through this kind of science- based approach, on average, 30 times the amount of funds invested in drug prevention can be saved in future health and social care costs. For every dollar spent on prevention, at least ten can be saved I future health, social and crime costs”. She finally said.