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20.05.2004 Regional News

Journalists urged to help fight drug abuse and HIV/AIDS

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Dodowa (G/A), May 20, GNA- Colonel Isaac K. Akuoku (rtd), Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), on Thursday called on Journalists to assist the Board in its fight against the use of narcotic drugs to make Ghana a drug-free country.

He also appealed to the Government to support the Board with adequate funds and resources to perform efficiently and effectively. Col. Akuoko made the appeal when addressing the closing session of a three-day workshop on drugs abuse and HIV AIDS for 35 Journalists at Dodowa.

The workshop under the theme: "Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS Prevention in Ghana" was organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and NACOB.

Participants were taken through topics including: "Drug Production in Ghana"; "Myths and Facts of Drugs and HIV/AIDS" and "Media Advocacy for Drugs Abuse and HIV/AIDS Prevention in Ghana." The Executive Secretary said the Board was facing accommodation problems and urged the Government to expedite action on its offices now under construction.

He said plans were far advanced for the Board to establish offices in Kumasi, Aflao, Elubo, Sampa and Tema.

Col Akuoku announced that this year's World Drugs Day would be launched in Kumasi on June 26, under the theme: "Treatment Works." He said drug addicts could be treated and urged families not to shy away from seeking treatment at psychiatric centres for their affected relatives.

Col. Akuoko said the UNODC and the NACOB through the Department of Social Welfare had begun a year's training programme for rehabilitated persons to enable them to acquire skills to enhance their standard of living.

Meanwhile, Journalists Against Drugs and AIDS (JADA) Network has been formed with Mr Theo Agbam, Assistant Director of Radio News; Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), as the President with Ms Mable Aku Banneseh of the Graphic Group of Communications as Vice-President. Mr Agbam, on behalf of the Journalists thanked NACOB for enlightening them on the effects of drugs and pledged to assist the Board in its fight against drugs and HIV/AIDS menace in the country.

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