SWEDEN BACKS ZIM’S ANTI-DRUG BATTLE

Talent Gore

THE Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe has availed US$1.9 million towards “The Strength Is In You” anti-drug campaign in a bid to support the country’s spirited efforts to curb the drug and substance abuse crisis.

The campaign is being implemented by the Population Solutions for Health (PSH).

It is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of drug use, provide support for those struggling with addiction and advocate for stronger policies to prevent drug trafficking and distribution.

The ‘Strength Is In You’ campaign works with people with experiences to share their stories publicly on how they overcame drugs.

According to a survey conducted by PSH last year, 43% of young people interviewed across Harare and Bulawayo had engaged in one or more forms of drugs at some point in their lives.

Officiating at the launch of the campaign, on behalf of the chairperson of the national committee on drugs and substance abuse, Minister of Defence Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, and Deputy Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare Mercy Dina, paid tribute to the Embassy of Sweden and PSH for supporting government’s efforts on drug and substance abuse.

“I am reliably informed that this campaign aims to restore the lost human and community functionality by enlivening hope, self-esteem and sustenance of the concerned individuals and communities.

“Allow me to thank Population Solutions for Health for your efforts in complementing the ongoing crucial steps and interventions undertaken by the Government to curb the scourge of drug and substance abuse in the country.

“Your interventions are in support of the development philosophy by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe that ‘Nyika Inovakwa, Inotongwa Nevene Vayo’ and so protecting citizens from drug and substance abuse is a necessity in national building.

“It has far-reaching consequences leading to poor health outcomes, social and economic problems, psychosocial effects and a range of other negative outcomes.

“Drugs are destroying lives and families and are undermining the social fabric of our beautiful nation.”

Sweden Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Per Lingard, said ending drug and substance use in Zimbabwe demanded a collective effort.

“Many young people are being affected by drug misuse. This could be either by using drugs themselves at a very early age or growing up in a family where drug abuse is part of their lives,” Ambassador Lingarde said.

“This is, of course, something we all must take most seriously and try our hardest to change.

“Only recently, it was reported that 17 young people were rushed to a local central hospital after overdosing on crystal meth.

“Young people are finding solace in bases where they congregate with other mates, take drugs, and engage in risky sexual behaviour and these young people are crying out for help, and we should all rally to support them.”

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