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Campaign against abuse of illicit drugs launched in schools

A campaign to raise awareness against the scourge of narcotic drugs was launched yesterday in schools and Rwanda National Police (RNP) continues in its efforts to save the majority affected age group and to kill the local market.

The official launch was held in three schools in the City of Kigali. They are Lycee de Kigali, Ecole Camp Kigali and Groupe Scolaire Ndera

At campaign comes at the time when the government is taking all means to save the young generation from the scourge said to be the major obstacle to youth development, owing to the fact that majority of addicts undergoing rehabilitation in various centres fall in the age bracket of those supposed to be either in school or the highly required labour force.

More than 4000 addicted youth are currently undergoing rehabilitation at Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Skills Development Centre (IRVSDC) and Gitagata rehabilitation centre

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Damas Gatare, the commissioner for community policing in RNP, while addressing students of Ecole Camp Kigali, said that cannabis, gins like kanyanga and others packed in plastic bags as well as other locally made substances are the common narcotic drugs in Rwanda and largely used by the young generation, and a bottleneck to the education and health sectors and the economy in general.

The government spends about Rwf70 million every month in Iwawa alone, and over Rwf8 million in Gitagata.

Statistics indicate that 18 percent of all the 3941 cases recorded by the Police last year were related to drugs.

The report further reports also show that about a total of 4149 people were arrested in drug related crimes in the same period, with over 71 percent of them aged between 18 and 35 years.

“Illicit drugs have serious health repercussions on users causing heart and mental illnesses. It is also one of the major factor fueling domestic conflicts and gender violence and affect resource development and labour force,” ACP Gatare told the students.

Health experts say that some cases of heart, liver, kidney and mental problems have been attributed to abuse of narcotic drugs.

ACP Gatare urged the students to focus on their education but also report people they suspect to be drug dealers or attempt to lure them into drug related crimes.

The general campaign is designed to enlighten the students on dangers of abusing narcotics and legal repercussions as means to support the national efforts to prevent new users, rehabilitate the addicted, kill the local market and bring different groups and institutions in breaking chains of supply.

The awareness in schools also tackles the issue of child pregnancies as well as raising awareness to fight human trafficking.

The outreach programmes continues this Wednesday in other schools in Kigali and those in the districts of Nyagatare, Rusizi, Gicumbi, Karongi and Kirehe.

The Express News

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