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By Arron Nyamayaro / Published on Monday, 02 Jul 2018 16:57 PM / No Comments / 1627 views

2 July 2018

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care, police and United Nations Information Centre officials last week carried an awareness campaign against drug abuse and illicit (drug) trafficking in Epworth.

Celebrating International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking running under the theme “Mobilising the Youth Against Drug and Illicit Trafficking”, the organisers took time to educate young people on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

The team visited four shopping centres in Epworth where they took time teaching children and parents on the dangers of drug abuse.

Addressing young people at Overspill Shopping Centre, the Ministry of Health and Child Care Mental Health Manager Eneti Siyame highlighted short-term and long-term consequences of drug abuse.

“It is the Ministry’s concern that young people remain focused and achieve their goals but the ever increasing abuse of drugs and illicit trafficking is affecting their careers and destiny,” said Siyame.

“We have short and long-term consequences of drug abuse that include; affecting the person’s judgment and decision making, family or social problems like relationship, work, financial problems, legal problems and injuries while using drugs or working under the influence of drugs.

“Drug abuse also leads to physical health problems like liver disease and cancer, infertility, increased heart rate and blood pressure as well as HIV/ AIDs.

“Parents must closely monitor their children and check if they show signs like; lack of interest in school work, poor hygiene, lots of unusual friends, sleeping long hours and isolation, loss of weight, argumentative, lying, being defensive and loss of interest in hobbies or favourite activities,” said Siyame.

She implored people to discuss the issue of drug abuse as families and talk to their children, seek help from friends, professionals such as doctors, nurse, social workers, counsellors, teachers or pharmacists.

Siyame also called upon parents/guardians to closely monitor and talk with their children even if they do not act.

United Nations Information officer Tafadzwa Mwale highlighted health risks associated with smoking and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption.

“The risk of tobacco related health problems and their complications increases when you start smoking or are exposed to second hand smoke (breathing someone’s smoke) at a young age,” said Mwale.

“Quit tobacco use and live a longer productive life, all of us should help children never to start smoking, help smokers to quit smoking and gently ask smokers not to smoke around you or your family,” said Mwale.

She said the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is leading the international campaign to raise awareness about the major challenges that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young.

Mwale said the campaign encourages young people to put their health first and not to take drugs saying they have the power both to improve and damage health, depending on the type of drugs used, the quantity consumed and the purpose for which they are taken.

Police community relations and liaison officer Constable Jonah Muringwa warned youth over drug abuse and illicit trafficking urging them not to carry cross borders luggage from one country to another since some bags contain illicit drugs.

“Anyone found carrying bags with illicit drugs will be arrested so to avoid facing jail do not trust travellers who ask you to help them in carrying their luggage,” said Cst Muringwa.

“A number of youth are found dead after abusing drugs and some are committing various crimes under the influence of illicit drugs.

“Some are taking Cannabis and as with any illicit drug, taking cannabis also clouds the user’s judgment and increases the chance of him or her making bad choices such as having unprotected sex.

“The user risks contracting HIV/AIDs, hepatitis and other infectious diseases,” said Cst Muringwa warning them over the dangers of being addicted to illicit drugs.

Meanwhile, a suspected robber was beaten to death by residents after snatching a woman’s handbag in Waterfalls last Friday.

Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident urging people not to take the law into their hands.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating a case where a suspected robber from a gang of five was beaten by people to death over stealing a hand bag,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

“Circumstances were that four women were walking along the road during the night and five men followed them.

“Suspecting that they were robbers the women ran away and one of the women threw her hand bag over a precast wall at someone’s resident and one of the suspected robbers jumped into the yard and took the bag forcing the women to shout for help.

“Residents woke up and got hold of the suspected robber and severely beat him to death.

“Police are investigating the case and urging people to hand over all suspects to police rather than taking law into their own hands.

“We are also urging people not to walk during the night when they are leaving church services or any other gatherings,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

In another case of robbery, Chief Supt Nyathi warned people over walking along High Glen Road near Mbudzi round about where robbers are snatching people’s hand bags and cellphones.

“Police are warning people over walking during the night along High Glen Road where reports of people losing their hand bags to robbers at Mbudzi round about who disappear into Mukuvisi River (are common),” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have warned people keeping dogs to vaccinate them following a report of eight people who were bitten by a dog in Mutorashanga last week.

Chief Supt Nyathi confirmed the mishap saying police along with National Parks are hunting the dog and warning people around the area to be careful with the dog after it disappeared from the farm.

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