26 January, 2017
Secretary of State for Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation, Mr Patrick Herminie today met with members of CEPS working towards the prevention, support and rehabilitation of rug users in the country.
Present at the meeting were members of the CEPS Faith Based Commission whose members have been conducting sessions in Point Larue district; Campaign for Awareness, Resilience And Education (CARE) who focus their educational campaign is schools; C’entre D’Acceuil de La Rosiere (CAR) a center that offers rehabilitation as well as the H.I.V. and AIDS Support Organisations (HASO) the local organisation currently conducting the local “Support. Don’t Punish Campaign.”
S.S Herminie gave a brief presentation on the current situation of drug use in the country and expressed that through various discussions held he has understood that there are various groups working towards the fight against drugs, but that the works are not connected and needs to be more centralised. He explained that there definitely is a need to express capacity to help drug users in the country and that there is a need to conduct research as the last survey took place in 2011. He noted that there is also a need to identify the best treatments to help the users get off the drugs.
The group also asked how can civil society come together to help in this battle. It was agreed that at this point in time, processes and applications needs to be put in place as well as a social impact assessment to better understand the extent to which the current programmes are being effective in the fight against drugs. Members also touched on the issue of harm reduction and to which SS Herminie expressed that his office is happy to work with civil society in providing such services.
Following his presentation the various groups present were able to share what they are doing, an exercise that had not been done since 2014, when CEPS predecessor LUNGOS brought together a drug task force. Through the discussion that ensue, the different groups present have scheduled to meet individually with SS Herminie to better identify how they can contribute towards the programmes being put in place by the office of the Secretary of State.