Youths from Burera District were on Wednesday warned against the abuse of drugs, reminding them of the repercussions that include loss of life, destroying life goals and lengthy prison sentences, among others.
This call was made by Agnes Mukagashugi, the Deputy Prosecutor General during an anti-drug abuse campaign held at Burera playground in an event that was organised by Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
“Drugs are responsible for the big number of cases of mental health patients in the country,” she said to a large audience that consisted students from secondary schools from across the district and area residents.
The meeting was also attended by the State Minister Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, local government officials including the Governor of Northern Province, and security officials among others.
Mukagashugi reminded the youths – whom he said are the main consumers of drugs – that drugs do not only affect the individual consuming them but also the community they live in and also the country as a whole.
She noted that in 2015-2016, over 4700 cases were recorded and in 2016-2017, the numbers significantly increased to over 5,600 cases but due to the anti-drug abuse campaigns that started soon after these findings, the numbers reduced from to slightly over 4,000 last year.
Ndimubanzi also expressed his concern over the growing number of mental health cases resulting from drug abuse that the country is facing at the moment.
“As a ministry, we shall not tire from fighting drug abuse through such types of campaigns throughout the country,” he said.
The Minister also cautioned residents to always be on the lookout against individuals that are involved in the abuse of drugs or selling them, saying that communities are destroyed where drugs are allowed to thrive.
Meanwhile, Ndimubanzi cautioned everyone present to be cautious of the Ebola scourge that had as of Wednesday reached neighbouring Uganda where three cases had been confirmed.
He argued residents to maintain proper sanitation at all times and also report individuals with symptoms such as diarrhea, bleeding from different body parts such as ears, eyes and nose among others.
During the event, assorted drugs were destroyed in the presence of the residents.