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ECOWAS engages actors on drug prevention, control

August 23, 2019

By Regina Pratt

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Internal Affairs Minister pose with participants and resources persons

A three-day training workshop has been organised by the ECOWAS/National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for thirty core drug prevention educators from the counseling unit of the Ministry of Education, Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), the media, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Religious Organisations and traditional leaders.

The workshop, which aims to improve the skills of identified core drug prevention educators in Sierra Leone, was held at the Civil Service Training College, Tower Hill, commenced on Thursday August 22 and it would end on Saturday August 24.

Public Relations Officer of National Law Enforcement Drug Agency, Abdul Kargbo said since May 2018, NDLEA cooperated with a monitoring mission led by ECOWAS Drug Unit to assess the level of implementation of the ECOWAS Drug Plan (2016-2020) in Sierra Leone.

He said their mandate, according to the National Drugs Control Act, 2008, is to control and prevent the abuse of narcotic drugs, implement the provisions of international drug control conventions and other harmful effects of drugs abuse.

“It is really disturbing to know that our schools are not free from menace of substance and alcohol abuse including kush, marijuana, butter scotch, and harsh as emerging trends which is grossly abused by students,” he said.

He said the training would be done in other ECOWAS countries to strengthen and increase the skills in the core element and sustainability of drug prevention programs.

The Principal Programme Officer and Programmer Coordinator of ECOWAS Drug Unit, Daniel Akwasi Amankwaah commended the European Union for funding the project and the support rendered to the sub region.

He emphasised the importance to remind everyone that illicit drugs trafficking, drug abuse and related organized crimes were disturbing obstructions to the achievement of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

“Today’s program is very crucial in addressing the drug menace not only in Sierra Leone but in West Africa as a whole,” he said, adding that at the end of the training they would come up with rules of engagement that will be used for the larger society.

Amankwaah called on journalists and participants to visit their website on the ECOWAS Drug News and read their newsletter.

The doctor in charge of the Psychiatric Teaching Hospital, Kissy, Dr. Abdul Jalloh said the role of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is to give efficient and effective health care to the people of Sierra Leone.

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