WDD: WHO hails Nigeria’s fight against drug abuse

The World Health Organization (WHO) has extolled Nigeria’s effort in the fight against drug abuse.

WHO Deputy Country Rep, Mr Alex Chimbaru, gave the commendation in his remarks at the 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse Illicit Trafficking, held at the conference centre of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The WHO applauds the government of Nigeria for putting in a lot of mechanisms; one of them is the development of a national drug control plan, which actually provides guidance on how we are supposed to be preventing drug abuse.

“It also gives guidance on the access to controlled medicines for medical purposes.”

Similarly, the organisation commended the Nigerian Ministry of Health for playing a vital role in combating drug abuse in the nation.

“Furthermore, I would like to commend the health sector for the drug demand and harm protection programme which they put in place as well as developing the Nigeria epidemiological network of drug use which helps us to capture the necessary statistics required to help produce strategies on drug prevention,” he said.

He expressed optimism that a drug-free Nigeria can be achieved, adding that more hands need to be on deck to achieve that.

“Observing this day brings our attention to the magnitude of the problem and also advocates for investment, which means we need more hands on the deck. We need to educate and empower our communities in order to achieve the goal of a drug free Nigeria.

“So, the theme for this year, ‘The Evidence Is Clear Invest in Prevention,’ is apt and recognises the role of evidence- based approaches to prevent and treat drug use. Let us use this opportunity to realign our efforts and renew our commitment to stop drug use,” he said.

Also speaking, the Country Rep of the United Nations Office on Drug Crime (UNODC), Mr Oliver Stolpe, said drug problem was very dire and action must be taken to address the problem.

He said the 2024 drug report shows that Africa had been used as a transit point for drug barons.

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