President to launch drug and substance abuse action plan Public Health Advisor to the President, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said the creation of the action plan was part of efforts to ensure that targeted interventions to fight drug and substance use were effective.

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke-Senior Reporter

THE National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse has come up with a comprehensive action plan that seeks to deal with the scourge of drug and substance abuse in the country, as per President Mnangagwa’s directive.

The action plan, which is expected to be launched by the President tomorrow, is a multi-sectoral strategic plan that addresses challenges faced by individuals who use drugs and illicit substances as well as their families and communities.

Public Health Advisor to the President, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said the creation of the action plan was part of efforts to ensure that targeted interventions to fight drug and substance use were effective.

“His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa specifically gave clear direction to the National Drug and Substance Abuse Committee to come up with a detailed national response ‘roadmap’ for an effective and efficient national response, that is well coordinated. The crafting of the plan was therefore informed by the need for a clear roadmap, with clear goals and strategies that everyone is guided by, in order to ensure that the national response is well coordinated and produces the desired results,” said Dr Mahomva.

The Government adopted the Zimbabwe national drug master plan and treatment and rehabilitation guidelines for alcohol and substance use disorders in 2021.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug Abuse, chaired by Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, was further established and has expanded the master plan into the Zimbabwe Multisectoral Drug and Substance Abuse Plan, which is working on the implementation of seven pillars that include supply reduction, demand reduction, treatment and rehabilitation and harm reduction, community reintegration, policy and legal enforcement, media and communication as well as resource mobilisation and economic strengthening.

“The Zimbabwe Multi-Sectoral Drug and Substance Abuse (DSA) plan is a comprehensive strategic plan that catalyses and supports a multi-sectoral response approach to the drug and substance abuse scourge in order to effectively mitigate the challenges that DSA poses to national security, public health, social stability and national development. The plan also focuses on addressing challenges that drug and substance abuse poses to individuals, families and the communities at large,” said Dr Mahomva.

The launch of the action plan tomorrow will coincide with commemorations of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day.

This is a day marked on June 26 every year, to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.

This year, the campaign is being held under the theme, “The evidence is clear: Invest in prevention”, and recognises that effective drug policies must be rooted in science, research, full respect for human rights, compassion and a deep understanding of the social, economic and health implications of drug use.

The campaign also aims to combat stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs.

Dr Mahomva said the launch of Zimbabwe’s drug and substance abuse action plan would increase visibility of some of the interventions being rolled out in the country.

“The launch will increase visibility on the strategies the country is focusing on and ensure that we move forward together as a nation, using a whole of Government and society response approach.

“It is going to help bring all stakeholders together hence encouraging them to double their response efforts, including collaborations with Government,” she said.

Dr Mahomva added that the launch would also set the stage for enhanced domestic and foreign resource mobilisation to fight drug and substance use.

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