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NACADA organises medical camp for drug addicts, tuberculosis survivors

The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has organised a four-day medical camp for persons using drugs and community.

The camp organised in collaboration with the Centre for Health Solutions-Kenya includes screening for Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and referring victims to health centres for treatment.

NACADA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Victor Okioma said the medical camp taking place at the Miritini Rehabilitation Centre in Mombasa is in cognisance of the correlation between drug abuse, TB and HIV.

Okioma said the Authority has in the past received funding from USAID to implement a programme dubbed “TB ARC 11” that focuses on Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease in the county.

He said illicit drug users continue to be in a group of high risk for tuberculosis, HIV and other diseases.

“The screening and identification of TB among drug users is very important. The camp will also offer mental health support (screening and counselling), nutrition counselling and Covid 19 vaccination,” added the NACADA boss on Wednesday.

He said the Miritini Rehabilitation Centre was receiving Sh100 million annually from the National Government to support its activities which includes treatment and counselling.

Okioma added that NACADA was soliciting for support from donors to put up a Sh1.2 billion model drug rehabilitation centre at Miritini that will include a modern hospital, a training wing and a multi-purpose hall to cater for the reformed drug addicts.

“NACADA’s dream is to put up a model centre of excellence for the management of substance use disorders and the training of addiction prevention professionals in the country,’’ he added.

Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Interior Ministry Winnie Guchu who was the chief guest lauded the establishment of the centre which she has helped reforming drug addicts and provides care and support to the affected youth.

Ms Guchu said the centre is currently treating 37 in-patients and 300 out-patients who are receiving a wide range of treatment including counselling and medically assisted therapy commonly known as Methadone.

She called for concerted efforts to fight drug menace in the region and the country in general which she said has destroyed lives of many young people.

The Miritini Rehabilitation Centre was established following Presidential directive in 2015 to transform the former National Youth Service (NYS) camp into a drug rehabilitation centre to provide care and support to affected youth.

By Mohamed Hassan

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