NAIROBI, September 21 – The National Agency for the Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has embarked on an initiative to sensitise Kenyans on the effects of drugs and substance abuse.
NACADA Board chairman Dr Frank Njenga said on Sunday that the initiative would mainly target young people who are more prone to alcohol and drug abuse.
He stated that during the campaign, life skill messages would be distributed to learning institutions so as to empower the youth in resisting substance abuse.
“We have a very active prevention campaign in schools but we shall now be targeting youths in and out of school,” Dr Njenga sid.
Dr Njenga also said the authority would focus on formulating policy and lobbying for the enactment of relevant legislation to curb the availability and accessibility of drugs to Kenyans.
“We do however recognise that there are other special groups that need special attention. For example we know the link between commercial sex workers and HIV/AIDS,” the chairman further pointed out.
In research and policy development, Dr Njenga said that the authority would be commissioning research on various aspects of drug abuse and chemical dependence as well as planning, coordinating and monitoring and evaluation of programmes on drug abuse.
He emphasised the need to focus on developing curricula on drug abuse training, conducting workshops for training of trainers on the prevention of drug abuse and addiction treatment.
He stressed that legislators have to be involved in the campaign exercise and said that each MP had been requested to forward three names; a man, a woman and a youth who will identify the best way to deal with the campaign in their constituencies.
He was speaking during the re-branding exercise of the anti drug abuse authority where he also outlined several new corporate features.
One was the development of a service charter, which the chairman described as a pointer reflecting on the type of service delivery expected of public institutions in Kenya.
The service charter will define the parameters through which drug and substance abuse prevention will be undertaken by NACADA.
The chairman also pointed out that a logo had been developed accompanied by a tag-line, which the authority intended to popularise the universal identity of the campaign against drug and substance abuse.
The authority has also developed a new cooperate vision that reflects the course it intended to take in the campaign against drug abuse in Kenya.
Notice was also given to rehabilitation centres having low standards to close down or bear the consequence of their actions.
“I am aware in my private capacity of instances where people lost their lives as a result of being admitted with severe withdrawal states and have been managed by people without the basic training,” he said
“Before anyone wants to open a rehabilitation unit in this country, this authority will need to give them the last word to do so.”