ECOWAS convenes WENDU workshop to validate data, address regional drug abuse challenges

Thu, Apr 25, 2024
By editor
2 MIN READ

Africa

THE Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has inaugurated a three-day workshop from April 23rd to 25th, 2024, focusing on the West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use, WENDU.

While the workshop primarily aims to validate the WENDU 2023 data and strengthen regional responses to drug abuse challenges, it also provides an opportunity to affirm ECOWAS’s commitment to monitoring and supporting Sierra Leone amidst its declared drug abuse emergency on the use of Kush.

In her opening remarks, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, represented by the Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, highlighted the broader regional context and the specific situation in Sierra Leone.

“While our focus today is on strengthening our entire region’s capacity to manage drug-related issues, we are particularly attentive to the acute challenges faced by Sierra Leone. We are closely monitoring the situation and are committed to mobilising targeted support as part of our regional strategy," Ugbe remarked.

Abdulhameed Wosilat, Deputy Director/Head of the Narcotics and Drug Abuse Division at the Federal Ministry of Health/Social Welfare, and WENDU Focal Point for Nigeria, speaking on behalf of Prof.  Muhammad Ali Pate, Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare, reinforced the timely nature of this workshop. “Our meeting today not only seeks to advance our capabilities in data analysis and policy formulation but also to reinforce our solidarity with Sierra Leone at this critical time. Our commitment to data-driven solutions and interagency cooperation is key to our collective efforts to mitigate drug abuse throughout West Africa,” stated Prof. Pate.

The workshop aims to foster an environment of enhanced cooperation and improved data quality and access, enabling ECOWAS to develop informed policies that address both the supply and demand aspects of drug-related issues. This approach ensures a healthier and safer West African community and underscores the region’s support for Sierra Leone.

This event marks a significant step in ECOWAS’s ongoing efforts to combat drug abuse, demonstrating the region’s commitment to public health and safety through collaborative and strategic measures.

The discussions and outcomes from this workshop are anticipated to significantly influence future actions and strengthen cooperation among member states, leading to more effective management of drug abuse and its associated challenges across the region.

A.

-April 25, 2024 @ 16:24 GMT|

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