Govt’s move to distribute syringes to drug addicts in Mumias not in good faith
Written by Jescah Anyanje
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Street children in Mumias town sniffing glue not aware of the dangers they are exposed to. Photo by Jescah Anyanje
Tuesday the government initiated a plan to distribute syringes targeting 460,000 drug addicts. The purpose for this was to help curb HIV transmission among the addicts who share syringes.
The issue has raised debate in Mumias town. The residents expressed varied opinions and views about the same. They are wondering whether the government is encouraging drug abuse or condemning it. Does it intend to make this nation a hub of drugs?
This has made some residents of Mumias wonder how the government can encourage its citizens to abuse substances. Whatever that has been suggested as far as the syringes issue is concerned can expose citizens to more harm like addiction which can cause death. The government’s move might have been made in good faith but youth can interpret it wrongly and end up suffering more unlike before the syringe matter was raised.
Speaking to West fm, the residents blamed the government's move saying that this will encourage abuse of drugs among the youth.
"Our government has done very little to eradicate the drug abuse menace, the same government harbors those who bring bags of heroine in this country”, lamented a mother whom sources reveal has a son abusing drugs.
What will happen to our children whom we have encouraged to stop abusing drugs? Is this a man eat man society?
The residents feel that the government instead of distributing syringes should set up rehabilitation centers in every town to help those who have sunk deep in drugs.
It’s surprising that even the street urchins who abuse "glue" and who are more vulnerable opposed this. They said that abuse of drugs has rendered them useless and helpless and they need rehabilitation more than they need syringes.
Others felt that use of drugs is the major cause of poverty and increase in school dropout rate. Those who use drugs like bhang and cocaine cannot engage in any important activity that can generate income.
Some felt that addicts too should be taken care of. They too should be given a chance to live and a disease free life. They claimed that it’s not the wish of the victims to abuse drugs and the government is right in seeking to protect their lives from the risk of HIV infection.