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Government should take the lead in harm reduction push

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[Harm Reduction Network Coordinator Lugard Abilla. Photo/Maxwell Ngala]

The government should show the zeal in reducing the harmful effects of drug use in the country.

The central government has been further tasked to reinvent on rehabilitation programs and ensure that every county especially Coastal counties are equipped with rehabilitation centres to treat and reintegrate drug user to their families.

Harm Reduction Network Country Coordinator Lugard Abilla said that despite the government promise that it was going to venture into rehabilitation programme especially at the Coast the promise is yet to materialise.

Abilla said that the Coast region was in dire need of rehabilitation programs so that youth trapped in the menace can access treatment and universal healthcare services.

He said that the methadone treatment program at Freere town in Mombasa County and at Kombani in Kwale County cannot accommodate the bigger number of drug users who are willing to disentangle themselves from the menace.

He said that all the six Coastal counties needed well equipped medically assisted therapy so as to help extricate the harmful effects of drugs and HIV in the region.

“We were promised a better treatment and rehabilitation centre at Miritini in Mombasa, however to date nothing has been done, we want the government to walk the talk,” added Mr. Abilla.

He also appealed to the central government to enhance education on drugs, expand the already existing programs including the Needle and Syringe Exchange program so that it reaches many drug users.

“Among the big four agenda of the national government universal healthcare should devoted to reducing the harmful effects of drug use and HIV that’s why we want the central government to come in and put resources on rehabilitation programs,” noted Mr. Abilla.

He also asked the central government to work with anti drug lobbies especially at the Coast so as to make harm reduction efforts a success.