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Anti-drug lobby enhances sensitisation forums to journalists


Coast-based journalists will continue being equipped with relevant information revolving around harm reduction processes in the fight against drug use in the Coast region.

The sensitisation forums are spearheaded by anti-drug organisation Reachout Centre Trust.

The anti-drug lobby has for the past years engage journalists purposely to equip them with the right information so that they as well impart the right information and knowledge about harm reduction and mitigation measures to the public.

Reachout Centre Trust Executive Director Taib Abdulrahman said when journalists are equipped with the right information and any current developments in the health interventions and progressive drug policies, they will as well inform the public on the effects of drug use among the Coastal population.

He said the organisation has been implementing harm reduction processes for People who Use Drugs and those who inject drugs in a bid to also contain the spread of HIV/AIDS among the target group.

Speaking at the RCT offices in Old town Mombasa on Friday, Taib noted that journalists remain key players in positively transforming society.

“We have been sensitising journalists after every four months for the last three years, with an aim of ensuring they clearly understand the harm reduction phenomenon before they also engage the large society,” noted Mr Taib.

The interventions

The renowned anti-drug activist said the organisation under its mandate conducts an awareness campaign to enlighten the society on the effects of drug use and HIV and AIDS, engage the Injecting Drug Users on the use of clean needles and syringes under the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) among many other harm reduction interventions.

Equipping journalists

Recently the Organisation engaged Mombasa based health reporters on the various aspects of harm reduction.

Journalists were taken through human rights aspects of people using drugs, the organisation’s reach out activities among them Drug addiction and counselling, the Medically Assisted Therapy and drug treatment, Prevention, Diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis.

“We also engage the media practitioners to understand the Mental health and social support, the Socio-economical reintegration and HIV Testing and counselling among many other services,” revealed Taib.

The Star Newspaper Coast region Bureau Chief Mr Charles Mgenyi also engaged his colleagues in the various considerations while filing stories related to drug use and harm reduction interventions and the Key Population at large.

[Star Newspaper Coast region Bureau Chief Mr Charles Mghenyi (Right) during the Media sensitisation training held recently in Mombasa. Photo/Tom Fondo]. 

Mgenyi challenged the media practitioners to observe ethical issues even as they venture into informing the society on the steps taken in disentangling people using drugs from the menace, most of them being the youthful generation.