The Edo State Government has urged parents, religious leaders and educationists to deploy innovative measures to counter misinformation on drug abuse among children.
Addressing participants at a sensitisation programme in Benin City, Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Dorcas Idehen, said stakeholders must collaborate to check social ills, including drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism and gender-based violence.
She said: “Stakeholders should work together to combat misinformation and promote sharing of facts on drug abuse including health risks and evidence-based prevention, treatment, care.
“We are partnering with all sectors of the society in mobilizing communities that are in support of drug-free society and putting education and awareness programmes at the centre of our strategy. We all know that drug abuse threatens individuals, families, communities and even the stability of any nation,” she added.
Chief Executive Officer, Caring Heart Initiative, Mrs. Grace Ese Obakina noted, “Now, we are trying to save children within nine years of age because that is the statistics that the United Nations has given that these children begin to get initiated into drugs. Let’s pay extra attention to them. Let us also expose them to the effects and damages that drugs do to people that are into drugs,” she added.
According to her, “We are crying out to our parents, religious leaders and educationists and asking them to expose children to issues relating to drug abuse.”
Director, Smile Africa International Youth Development Initiative, Comrade Purpose Osamwonyi Iserhienrhien, urged youths to desist from drug abuse.