Gov’t partner with COU to end drug abuse

Kampala – Government through the National Drug Authority (NDA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Church of Uganda (COU) in an effort to end drug and substance abuse in Uganda.

The partnership will see implementation of a school based drug abuse prevention program in COU founded secondary Schools accross the country.

“The ultimate objective of this partnership is to help youths in secondary schools avoid initiation into the use of drugs and if they have already started, help them to stop it.” Says the Archbishop of the COU – The Most Rev Dr. Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu.

He added, COU has got 630 secondary schools. We shall mainly use these schools and the pulpit on Sundays among other days to sensitize people against the dangers of misusing drugs and alcohol.”

The Archbishop appeals to parents among other stakeholders to focus on the boy child whom he says is currently not monitored well like the female counterparts leading some to adopt habits like drug abuse among others.

This partnership with the Anglican Church that has over 13 million believers coincided with the visit of the Archbishop who inspected NDA’s Quality Control Laboratory, Mulago- Kampala.

“We have been deploying a multipronged approach including; creating and enhancing collaborations, physical and virtual engagements, use of Information Education and Communication tools and conduct of research to end drug and substance abuse especially among the youths.” Remarked NDA’s Board Chairman Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo

He noted that NDA been working with COU especially with the Northern Uganda Diocese and this MOU will widen  their collaboration with COU that is affiliated with several other institutions including schools, universities and media platforms.

“Faith based institutions are well positioned to reach almost all Ugandans as most of Ugandans have a religious inclination. The COU for a long time has exhibited strong stand against drug and substance abuse in its teachings and this MOU will synergize NDA and the COU capabilities to reach many more Ugandans with the message of preventing drug and substance abuse.” Added Dr. Bitekyerezo

 

Before signing the MoU, Archbishop Kazimba was taken around NDA laboratory in Mulago

NDA has been working with key institutions like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Institutions of learning and, Community Based Organizations to create awareness about drug and substance abuse that continues to pose serious challenges to health as it is the biggest contributor to the spike in mental illness and negatively impacts on social and economic well-being of young people in Uganda.

Uganda signed and ratified the United Nations (UN) Narcotic Convention and Uganda has a narcotic law passed in April 2015 which all criminalize substance abuse.

“As the drug regulator, NDA is committed to safeguarding the appropriate use of drugs as a way of promoting and protecting healthcare as emphasized by the National Drug Policy and Authority Act Cap 2000.” Says Dr. Bitekyerezo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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