The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, has expressed the readiness of the Ministry to partner with Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative (MHEI) in curbing the menace of mental disorder arising from drug abuse in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, made this known when members of the organisation paid him a courtesy visit recently in Abuja.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Health is paying special attention to the issue of drug use, drug use disorders and related health conditions as major public health issues.
Mr. Abdullahi informed that the Ministry has established Drug Demand Reduction Unit within the Ministry as part of efforts to coordinate and implement strategies that would lead to evidence-based drug use prevention, treatment and care.
To this end, the Permanent Secretary stated that the Ministry is developing National Policy for Prescribing and dispensing of controlled Medicines as part of measures to ensure that pharmaceutical opioids and other controlled medicines are prescribed by licensed physicians and dispensed by licensed pharmacists in registered premises.
He commended the Organisation for supporting Federal Government’s effort in stemming the tide of mental disorder among youths and other vulnerable members of the society.
Speaking earlier on the essence of his visit, the Founder/President of MHEI, Mr. Ameh Zion Abba, explained that Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative is an indigenous Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO) focused on mental health and the wellbeing of children in rural communities, with activities centred on mental health promotion, policy formulation dedicated to promoting mental health in Nigeria.
Mr. Abba therefore appealed to the Federal Government through the Health Ministry, to assist the Organisation achieve her goals which particularly focuses on sensitization of youths in the University of Abuja and other tertiary institutions, while taking four(4) Secondary Schools in Abuja as case study.
Mrs. Ajayi Olubukola, the Director Drug and Vaccine Division, who represented the Director Food and Drug services, Pharmacist Moshood Lawal, stated that the Ministry has impacted over 1200 health workers across the country with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC)
He commended the foundation for the fight to curb the menace among the youths. She assured them that the Ministry will look into its plea.
In her remarks, she narrated how the Ministry has developed the National Policy for Controlled Medicines since 2017.
Ogundoro Modupe (Mrs)
DD/Media and Public Relations
August 19, 2019.