AYV News, August 25, 2023
Senior Psychiatrist and Mental Health Expert, Doctor Abdul Jalloh has said that cases of drug abuse have risen from 2 percent to 40 percent within a period of two years.
He said over the past one month, they have registered 63 cases of Kush, mostly in people between the ages of 20 to 34, adding that Kush intake can lead to permanent brain damage and suicidal actions.
Dr. Jalloh furthered that the substance misuse is a big problem and can lead to a devastating consequence such as suicidal actions and permanent brain damage.
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby has said Kush can lead to Permanent Brain Damage and Suicidal Actions, adding that the act of smoking Kush by young people is a public health issue that needs serious civil education.
The minister revealed that the use of Kush among young people has significantly increased in recent months, particularly among young boys.
He said: “This trend is a concern to us all as it exposes our youth to serious health consequences, including long-term physical and mental problems”.
Dr. Austin Demby emphasised the need to come together as a society, and work with our medical and mental health experts to develop a comprehensive plan that will work, emphasising that we have an obligation to treat them with compassion and not stigmatize them.
The health minister also used the opportunity to speak about developments in the health sector, stating that Primary health care has been the game changer in the health sector. The minister reiterated that the Government has invested a lot in primary health care and not much into the hospitals, so the Ministry is now working on how to balance the support so that the people would receive a holistic service.
On health security, the minister revealed that the government is now working on getting more prepared for outbreaks and to enhance its response capabilities.
The minister declared that they are about to make a dramatic impact with solid evidence in the health sector, and with Universal Health Coverage and primary health care, they are taking health to everybody in every part of the country.
“We are working to create more access by building more secondary and tertiary facilities and bring quality to the facilities” he concluded.
In a similar development, Youth Ambassador Unisa Fofanah has called for urgent action to combat the importation, distribution, selling and intake of Kush among young people in Sierra Leone.
Amb. Fofanah said: “A society or a country without strategically positioned young people is bound to fail in all aspects of development. The drug is drastically reducing the focus of many youths and further subjects them to a series of abnormalities. Let’s take action now”.