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We must break Illicit drug supply, distribution chains – Osinbajo

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Gateway Int’l Cargo Airport world-class – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) and other stakeholders to step up efforts toward breaking illicit drug supply and distribution chains.

Osinbajo was the Special Guest of Honour at the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking on Monday at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.

The event was organized by the NDLEA in collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs(UNODC), MTN and the EU.

The vice president commended the NDLEA for the impressive number of drug users it had counseled and rehabilitated within the year.

“The number of drug trafficking cases reported this past week proves that there is even much more illicit drug activity ongoing.

“The expressed vision of the NDLEA goes beyond getting more drug criminals arrested; it is to have no drug criminals at all. We must therefore deepen the effort.

“Relentlessly breaking illicit drug supply chains and distribution networks; discouraging drug use through intensive outreach and sensitization, and also promptly prosecuting traffickers.

“But above all, we must intensify rehabilitation of drug addicts because what we are faced with is indeed a public health crisis – a crisis that is taking lives, destroying families and shattering communities.

“I am glad to hear that in 2021, about 8,000 drug users were counseled and rehabilitated by the NDLEA, and in the first half of this year alone, over 11,000 drug users have been counseled and treated.’’

He said that there must be a multi-dimensional and holistic approach to tackling drug abuse.

Osinbajo regretted that access to illicit drugs became easier with online sales and contactless drug transactions– both influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, the new normal still offers us opportunities for increased innovation in tackling this menace, through technology-based monitoring systems for promptly detecting and addressing drug market changes.

“And also accelerating mobile outreach programs, remote consultation, and treatment for those who suffer from drug use disorders and are without the appropriate care.

“ As much as the Federal Government through its agencies and the state governments will lead the charge with decisive policy initiatives, these strides must be complemented by changes at the family and community level.

“The kind of change we seek regarding drug abuse cannot happen without the collaboration of families, faith-based organizations and community leadership at the local levels.

“We must spearhead massive value reorientation across the country, reassessing cultural factors and systems that support drug abuse and trafficking.’’

He said that communities everywhere must rise to this challenge, adding the Federal Government would continue to support the NDLEA to fulfill its mandate.

The vice president said that through data-driven and evidence-based policy making, enduring and sustainable solutions to the underlying causes of drug abuse would be continuously unearthed.

“Once again, let me again commend the new, dynamic and greatly improved NDLEA, and appreciate the gallant officers for their service to our country.

“We must also appreciate our development partners for the successes recorded so far and for their firm resolution to support the effort to ensure a clean and drug-free Nigeria.

“We are winning this war; the days of the scourge of drug abuse and dependency are clearly numbered, but it will involve even greater investment in focus and determination for the long haul,’’ he said.

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Earlier in his opening speech, NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, said that the World Drug Report 2021 indicated that Drug use killed almost half a million people in 2019.

He said the report showed that drug use disorders resulted in 18 million years of healthy life lost, mostly due to opioids.

Marwa said that the concerns raised by the World Drug Report 2021 were not farfetched because in Nigeria.

“We are beginning to see similar patterns from the findings of the National Drug Use and Health Survey 2018.

“The survey recorded an estimated 376,000 high-risk drug users in the country, of which one in every five injects drugs.

“And with a total of 80,000 People Who Inject Drugs (PWID), the risk of the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases was high and this, in turn, raises the stake of a public health crisis.

“Hence, there was no questioning the rationale of treatment for drug users,’’ he said.

He said that to check that to eliminate obstacles standing in the way of those that genuinely need help, the agency would unveil a toll-free, 0800-10203040, and the website, ndleahelpline.com.ng.

On his part, Country Representative, UNODC, Oliver Stolpe, said that the UN had renewed its commitment to ending the scotch and supporting those who fell victim to it.

The vice president afterward, unveiled the NDLEA Testing Kit and presented gifts to students that excelled in the MTN Quiz 2022.

 

Health and Safety

LASG Totally Bans Street Trading, Hawking, Seals Up Ladipo Market

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FOGCILS Gives Assurances of Support to APC, Sanwo-Olu

 The Lagos State Government (LASG) on Friday announced a total ban on street trading, hawking, building of illegal structures on drainage setbacks, and the display of wares on walkways across the state.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, made the announcement in a statement in Lagos.

Wahab said that the State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) has been directed to strictly enforce compliance with the environmental Sanitation laws.

According to him, the latest offensive is meant to curtail the nefarious activities of hawkers who disguise to rob motorists and also disrupt the free flow of traffic on Highways and Streets.

Meanwhile, the commissioner also effected the sealing up of Ladipo market in Mushin in the early hours of Friday following several environmental offences, including reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, and non-payment of waste bills, amongst others. 

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Health and Safety

SRHIN: Empowering Communities through Comprehensive Sexual Health Education

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…Kwara Chapter’s Transformative Health Walk***

Introduction

Sexual health is a basic human right that transcends geographical and demographic boundaries. It incorporates not only physical health, but also emotional and social aspects, making it imperative that individuals have access to accurate and comprehensive information in order to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health. Recognising this, the Kwara State Chapter of the Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) embarked on a mission to empower communities through an innovative sexual health walk conducted on September 2, 2023.

*Volunteers from the Kwara State Slum and Rural Health Initiative Chapter

Sexual health is a basic human right that transcends geographical and demographic boundaries. It incorporates not only physical health, but also emotional and social aspects, making it imperative that individuals have access to accurate and comprehensive information in order to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health. Recognising this, the Kwara State Chapter of the Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) embarked on a mission to empower communities through an innovative sexual health walk conducted on September 2, 2023.

Dispelling Misconceptions and Fostering Awareness

*Volunteers educating community members on safe sex

The primary objective of this initiative was to educate community members about the critical significance of sexual health. The health walk sought to dispel the prevalent myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual lifestyles, which have resulted in a broad range of negative outcomes, including the spread of disease, early pregnancy, and a lack of sexual satisfaction. SRHIN intended to bridge this information gap and empower individuals to take charge of their sexual health through open communication channels, engaging debates, and widespread broadcasts.

Educating Women About Condoms and Promoting Safe Practises

The distribution of crucial information regarding the use of female contraceptives was one of the most significant components of the walk. SRHIN identified the importance of empowering individuals, notably women, with the knowledge and tools necessary for their sexual health and well-being. In addition, male and female condoms were distributed to encourage community members to adopt secure sexual practices.

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*Volunteers educating the community in their local language.

By providing access to these preventative measures, SRHIN made a proactive step towards preventing sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.

Emphasizing Consent and Breaking Taboos

Consent is essential for a healthy sexual relationship. By emphasising the significance of a clear and unequivocal “yes,” the initiative aimed to empower individuals to establish and respect their partners’ boundaries. Additionally, the health walk is intended to eliminate sex-related social taboos and stigmas.  The health walk endeavored to create an environment of acceptance and equality in which open dialogues about sexual health are not only encouraged but prioritized.

Redefining Pleasure: Debunking Misconceptions

SRHIN also aimed to challenge prevailing myths about sexual pleasure. It emphasized that pleasure is not a performance-based goal, but rather an exploration of one’s body and an understanding of their partner’s desires and boundaries. The initiative debunked the notion that sexual enjoyment is solely dependent on penetration, emphasising that oral sex and other forms of stimulation can also lead to gratification. In addition, SRHIN debunked the myth that women cannot experience orgasms as readily as men, emphasising that orgasmic ability varies from person to person and may necessitate different types of stimulation.

Conclusion

By providing accurate information to communities, dispelling misconceptions, and advocating for safe practices, SRHIN has taken a significant step towards empowering individuals to make informed decisions regarding their sexual health. Through open conversations, the initiative has fostered a culture of acceptance and equality by dismantling sex-related taboos and stigmas. Thus, SRHIN has paved the way for healthier, better-informed communities in which sexual health is recognised as a fundamental human right.

*Learn more about SRHIN at https://srhin.org/

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Health and Safety

Heavy Downpour Leaves Lagos-Badagry Expressway Flooded; Residents Groan 

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FOGCILS Gives Assurances of Support to APC, Sanwo-Olu

Hundreds of motorists and passengers going to Mile 2 were on Saturday stranded as flood from morning downpour disrupted free movement on the Trade Fair and Abule -Ado axis of the Lagos- Badagry Expressway.

The resultant flood from the downpour also blocked the trade fair axis, temporarily impeding the movement of vehicles on the expressway.

NAN also reports that the rainfall, which started at 5.00 a.m. and continued for hours, forced many passengers to come down from commercial vehicles and resort to trekking from Abule-Ado to Barracks in Ojo.

Some passengers and motorists urged the Lagos State Government to clear the drainage to avert such flood incidents.

FOGCILS Gives Assurances of Support to APC, Sanwo-Olu

*Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu

Mrs Ibironke Adegboyega, a trader in Ebute-Aro, Lagos Island, said that the flood had prevented her from going to open her shop.

*Another passenger trying to cross from one side of Lagos Badagry expressway to the other during the downpour on Saturday.

“The flood has completely blocked the expressway, some vehicles that tried to access the road had been trapped in the flood.

“The drainage is blocked by plastics and nylon preventing the passage of the water.

“Lagos government should wake up to its responsibility and clear the drainage, they should also warn the traders against indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

“I have to go back home now because it is dangerous to force your way in there due to the flood,” she said.

*Commuters trekking due to flood caused the morning downpour  in Lagos

Mr Toyosi Stephen, a passenger, said the blockage of the expressway was due to the way the contractor handling the project constructed the road.

“One will see that from Abule-Ado down to the Trade fair axis is very sloppy making water to gather under the bridge.

“This also applies to when you are coming from Barracks down to Trade fair, so the water coming from Abule-Ado and Barracks will gather at trade fair and block the movement of vehicles and passengers.

“Government should work on this and also ensure clearing of drainage around this place all the time.

“I have been trapped here, I have to go back to Agbara and sleep,” he said.

*The blockage at the Trade fair axis of Lagos Badagry expressway.

Mr Mutiu Suru, a bus conductor, said the flood would reduce when the rain stopped and that vehicles and passengers would be able to move freely on the expressway.

“The rain is heavy, that’s why the flood blocked the road, but I can tell you that in an hour’s time, vehicles will start going.

“All we need to do is to exercise patience and relax in our vehicles,” he said.

NAN reports that the floods also affected communities in Badagry including Mowo, Ikoga, Ansarudeen, Ajara-Vetho, Aghelaso, and Zogakome areas.

  • NAN
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