NACADA partners with KPA to fight drug abuse in the Coast
The fight against drug and alcohol abuse in the Coast region has received a boost after Kenya Ports Authority donated Ksh.1 million to the Miritini Rehabilitation Centre to be utilized in rehabilitation and support programs.
This follows a partnership between the KPA and National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) which is mandated to fight alcohol and drug abuse in the country.
During the handover, NACADA Board Chair, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, revealed that the organization is keen on ensuring that the Miritini project positively contributes to the fight against alcohol and drug abuse, a major challenge afflicting the youth in the Coast region.
“From the surveys carried out by the Authority the challenge of alcohol and drug abuse is growing and unless we all join hands to reverse this trend it will undermine our economic development and impact negatively on our security. Our concern is the upsurge in drug abuse in our schools, instituions of learning and the workplace where productivity is undermined by addiction related absenteeism and reduced hours of productive work,” said Imbuga.
Acting Managing Director Eng. Rashid Salim reiterated the need for treatment and after-care for persons with drug use disorders, noting that the vice has equally affected a section of the KPA family and with it their health and productivity.
This prompted the organization to partner with NACADA to be able to mainstream ADSA policies at its workplace. NACADA facilitated the development of a workplace policy in 2008 and continues to collaborate in staff training on workplace-based prevention interventions.
Eng. Rashid Salim emphasized his organization’s continued contribution to finding solutions to the social problem through this partnership.
“As an industry leader in the country and the Coast region, it is paramount we join hands to seek solutions to the myriad of challenges afflicting our community”, We are always at the forefront to offer counsel and input for the benefit of our community.
Miritini rehabilitation center was established following a Presidential Directive in 2015 that saw the transformation of the previous Miritini National Youth Service (NYS) Camp into a Drug Rehabilitation Centre to provide care and support to affected youths.
The center is now operational with one hundred and fifty clients currently receiving a wide range of services including Counselling and Medically Assisted Therapy commonly known as Methadone. This drug is administered daily, and on site, to wean off persons from the use of Heroin.
Patients receive other general services including counselling, medication, HIV AIDS Testing and Counseling and Hepatitis B Testing.
As at December 2016 following a study commissioned by NACADA- Status of Drugs and Substance Abuse among the General Population in Kenya – the prevalence of multiple drugs and substance abuse among respondents aged between 15 and 65 years stood at 6%.
“Coast region is one of the most affected regions in the country as evidenced by the many young men in dens and streets. It is on this background that the Miritini rehabilitation center was established following a Presidential directive that saw the transformation of the previous Miritini National Youth Service (NYS) Camp into a drug rehabilitation center to provide care and support to affected youths,” added the NACADA Chair.
Speaking during the same function the Coast Regional Commander John Elungata revealed that the COVID-19 period had presented an avenue for drug dealers to operate under the guise of ‘essential services providers’ to ply their trade.
“We have information that some drug dealers have been taking advantage of the essential service provisions to ferry drugs within this region under the cover of darkness. They have been masquerading their activities as food delivery and deliberately ensure that they transport the drugs at night. We are not going to leave any stone unturned in our effort to rid this region from the shackles of alcohol and drug abuse. We shall continue partnering with NACADA in the execution of their mandate even as we laud their operationalization of the Miritini rehabilitation center which will be of great benefit to this region,” said Elungata.
According to NACADA, the Authority is aiming at commissioning the in-patient wing at the facility by end of December to cater for the growing needs of persons with substance abuse disorders in the Coast Region.
NACADA has partnered with county governments to establish 10 rehabilitation centers in efforts to make rehabilitation accessible and affordable to all Kenyans who need these services. In addition, the Authority has accredited over 100 rehabilitation facilities across various regions in the country.
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