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Catholic Doctors Seek Urgent Solution To Drug Abuse In Nigeria

Catholic Doctors Seek Urgent Solution To Drug Abuse In Nigeria

Bola Owolola
Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) has urged the Federal government and all citizens of the country to step up the fight against all forms of drug abuse and misuse within the country.
The renewed war against drug abuse by the medical practitioners was part of critical issues deliberated upon at the weekend during this year’s 14th Annual Scientific conference and General meeting of the Catholic Doctors held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island Lagos.
The event with the them: “Effects of Drug Addiction on Integral Human Development” was declared open by His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale, Martins, Catholic Arch-Bishop of Lagos, who was represented by Rev. Father Julius Olaitan. He warned on the danger inherent in drug abuse especially as it affects pupils and students of primary, secondary and higher institutions of learning.
He noted that the increase youth indulgence in crime related cases like rape, robbery, cultism and others often lead to untimely death.
The Catholic Arch-Bishop therefore called on all medical practitioners and well meaning Nigerians especially parents to join hands to stop the abuse of drug through early education to their wards on the dangers.
The key note speech was delivered by Dr. Raphael Emeka Ogbolu, a consultant psychiatrist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUITH) and Coordinator suicide research and prevention initiative (SURPIN).
Speaking on the topic “Effect of Drug Addiction on Integral Human Development” the medical practitioner observed that his job as a psychiatrist and the coordinator of the suicide research and prevention initiative has exposed many tales of about the impact that drugs can have on integral human development to the extent that life becomes meaningless and suicide an attractive option for drug abusers.
He raised the alarm that in the past one year drug use level was 14.4% among those aged 15 – 64 years.
He noted that cannabis, a strong narcotic, is the most commonly used and abused drug by our youth.
The speaker used the forum to urge all Nigerians to step up the fight against drug abuse which pose a major health problem to the society. “Drug abuse needs to be addressed early,” he said.
He also called on Nigerians to stop stigma against drug abuse and other mental illness because it is a barrier to treatment.
Dr. Francis Faduyile, president, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), who spoke on the danger posed by brain drain as it affects the medical profession in Nigeria, said it is a serious concern to Nigeria as the country’s highly skilled and well educated Doctors are leaving in droves to other countries like UK, USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia and other European countries for better working condition.
He noted that presently, the country is experiencing poor or declining quality of care in hospitals across the country. “What is going on is migration of highly educated medical doctors from poorer nation to developed nations,” he said.
He was worried that many state governments in Nigeria are not making effort to employ doctors thereby making many of them to leave the country for other places.
The Association used the event to inaugurate the new Lagos executives committees with Dr. Patrick Ijewere, emerging as chairman; Dr. Ronald Kelechi Ikpe, publicity secretary, among others who are to run the affairs of the Association in Lagos state chapter.

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