Free food program for drug addicts

Some of the recovering drug addicts enjoying a meal at the Mewa Detoxification Center in Mombasa. PHOTO: SAUM ATHMAN

Mombasa,KENYA:Drug addicts in Kisauni, Mombasa have a place to call home every day during lunch hours for they get a chance to enjoy a sumptuous meal.

Mewa Detoxification Center, a local non- governmental organization, has launched programs aimed at giving guidance and counseling for both drug addict and recovering addicts.

The NGO’s program manager Abdallah Badarus said their main objective is to reach the addicts for counseling session and to discuss on harm reduction.

Badarus says with time they realized that the patients started to confide in them.

“It is not easy and it has never been but we are trying as much to ensure that they don’t feel neglected. We provide them with a balanced diet every day of the week during lunch hours and engage them in discussions of harm reduction,” he said.


Badarus further explained that through the lunch session they have been able to convince some of the addicts to attend methadone clinics (a clinic for dispensing methadone with focus of elimination or reduction of usage).

Bilkis Nassir, a nurse at the center said they are very keen to ensure their clients receive the best treatment.

“Addicts require best care. We should be keen on their nutrition because most of them do not have time to take proper meals we give special care to female addicts who are pregnant or have given birth,” she explained.

Ms Bilkis further explained that it is key for addicts to get a balanced diet daily especially those who are under medications.


Maimuna a 28 year old lady who is a recovering addict, says the program has changed their lives with the fact that they can access free food.

“We are very glad that Mewa provides lunch for us, because most of us prefer to buy drugs to food but at least when we are here we get counseling and good food and it keeps us going,” she said.

Mewa Detoxification Center offers food for about 70 addicts daily with number increasing on Fridays during Biryani and Pilau.

The NGO has been receiving food donation from Red Cross, Global Fund among other private donors.