Drug Abuse: NAFDAC Tasks Northern Religious Leaders on Menace Control

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Following the recent outcry against the spate of codeine-containing substance abuse, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has implored religious leaders and clerics, particularly, those of the North West and North East zones to join the campaign against drug abuse, by slanting their Ramadan sermons towards it.

The agency made the appeal through a press statement sent to Pharmanews, on Friday 25 May, 2018, noting that Ramadan is a period where the rites that reflect obedience to Allah, reading the holy Qur’an and listening to sermons are observed; hence people assemble in various mosques to listen to the Tafsir.

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Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye

The statement, which was signed by the NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, explained that the month of Ramadan is a period that affords clerics the wonderful opportunity to enlighten the youths and adults on the dangers of drug abuse to the human system, community, economy and the nation as a whole.

It further stated that the Ramadan drug abuse enlightenment campaign in mosques has since commenced in all the thirteen {13} states in the two zones, while urging other states to follow suit.

“This period affords the clerics the opportunity to educate the youth by disseminating information on the effects of codeine, tramadol and other substance of abuse on the Youth, the community and economy of the nation, so as to discourage the Youth to shun drugs”, it stated.

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It will be recalled that recently, the Federal Government through the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, announced the ban on codeine production and NAFDAC has also placed an embargo on the issuance and renewal of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough syrup preparation. These actions became necessary due to the gross abuse and widespread addiction

While urging state governments to join the ongoing campaign against drug abuse, by establishing  drug abuse control committees, the agency stated that it has also deployed strategies like intensive public awareness and sensitization campaign, drug demand reduction campaign, increased enforcement and improved collaboration with sister agencies to address this menace.

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