Sunday, May 15, 2011

Accra hosts ECOWAS' premiere drug demand reduction summit

Accra hosts ECOWAS’ first drug demand reduction meeting
Representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Programme on HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS), the European Union (EU), West African Health Organization (WAHO) and South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) as well as civil West African societies; etc will converge on the Ghanaian capital, Accra, for a three-day summit to ponder ways to curb drug demand in the region.
Billed to close on 19 May, participants at the meeting; which opens on Tuesday, 17 May will deliberate on various findings and approaches for data collection and analysis as well as agree a common drug abuse assessment protocol and plans for starting drug abuse assessment surveys in member states.
Also, participants are expected to share experiences among the various stakeholders in the region and agree on effective intervention strategies and best practices, including those for the management of all types of drugs and special population groups; according to a statement by ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja on 14 May 2011.
Speakers will focus on an overview of the drug abuse situation and drug demand reduction activities in the region; a country by country drug demand reduction activities as well as consider the draft Protocols and Minimum Standards on Drug Demand Reduction, Treatment and Rehabilitation.
Recommendations from the meeting will guide the formulation of policies and programmes specifically directed at addressing the drug demand reduction problem in ECOWAS member states as well as enrich the drug demand reduction components of the ECOWAS regional action plan.
Additionally, the outcome is expected to inspire regional instruments for the assessing and preventing of drug abuse as well as systems for management, rehabilitation and social integration of victims of drug abuse.

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