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African Union Disability Council (AU-DC) Ambassador, Nyasha Nhau has urged the government of Zimbabwe and stakeholders in drug and substance abuse awareness to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in their efforts to combat these harmful practices.
In an interview with this publication, Ambassador Nhau emphasized the importance of policy makers and implementers considering the needs of PWDs in drug and substance abuse awareness campaigns.
“Persons with disabilities are also susceptible to drug abuse and should not be overlooked in awareness initiatives,” stated Ambassador Nhau.
PWDs often find themselves entangled in drug and substance abuse due to factors such as poverty, exploitation, and misconceptions about disability within society, he added.
Acknowledging the destructive impact of drug and substance abuse, particularly on young people and artists, the government of Zimbabwe has intensified its efforts to address this issue.
Ambassador Nhau commended key stakeholders, such as Throsam Investment (Pvt) Limited, for their contributions to the fight against drug abuse and urged more organizations to join the cause.
Highlighting the challenges of rehabilitating drug abusers, including those with disabilities, Chiedza Nomatter Dzere, a psychologist at Throsam Investment (Pvt) Limited, emphasized the ongoing efforts to address these issues within their organization.
“We are struggling to deal with rehabilitating drugs and substance abusers including those with disabilities and we keep pushing to find ways of addressing such challenges within our organisation,”Dzere said.
Leo Tasara, the Program Awareness Manager at Throsam Investment (Pvt) Limited, announced plans to launch a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about drug abuse, with ambitions to address these issues on a global scale. Tasara emphasized the importance of governments worldwide collaborating to strengthen laws related to drug and substance abuse.
“As an organisation we are going to start a nationwide campaign drive to raise drug awareness and we are also aiming global stage to raising such issues.
“All governments should converge to tighten laws which govern drug and substance abuse related issues,”Tasara said.
Meanwhile, the government of Zimbabwe has undertaken a nationwide operation under the theme “No To Dangerous Drugs And Illicit Substances,” resulting in the arrest of over 600 suppliers as of February last year.