FCTA Sensitizes Commercial Drivers On Danger Of Drug Abuse

By: Doris Jonah & Chukwunonso Chukwurah

To reduce avoidable cases of road accidents and untimely deaths on our roads, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has organised a sensitization and awareness campaign targeting commercial drivers on the dangers of indiscriminate use of illicit drugs in Gwagwalada Motor Park, a suburb of Abuja.

The campaign was organized by the Health Services and Environment Secretariat in its continuous effort to address the menace of drug abuse in the Territory.

The campaign which was tagged “Dangers of indiscriminate use of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) products” is one of the FCT Administration’s effort to discourage residents, especially the motor park communities from abusing drugs and other substances that are harmful to health.

Speaking at the occasion, the FCT Secretary, Health Services and Environment Secretariat, Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe, said that the initiative is aimed at giving the Secretariat the opportunity to interact with motor park users in FCT so as to address the widespread use of TCAM products that are prevalent but unhealthy.

The Secretary, who was represented at the occasion by Director, Pharmaceutical Services in the FCT Primary Health Care Board, Pharm. Aisha Ahmad Fari noted that, traditional remedies have been in use for centuries but their indiscriminate use poses significant dangers to the health and well-being of an individual such as toxicity, which can cause accidents and varying fatalities when used by drivers.

The Secretary said in addition, such dangerous substances damage human organs and in some cases have adverse reactions, allergic reactions when interacted with other medications.

Fasawe cautioned drivers to take enough rest (sleep) as much as possible before embarking on trips in order not to doze off; stressing that illicit (TCAM) products popularly known as “Agbo” to stay active because of its adverse effects is not an option.

She rather appealed that drivers should seek guidance from qualified healthcare professionals before using any TCAM products to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Also, speaking at the event, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services HSES Pharm. Boniface Ikwu, said that the campaign is necessary to cushion the use of substances like sachet alcohol common among drivers and other users, because such substances alter perceptions which comes with very severe effects and consequences to the driver and passengers.

Ikwu said that the choice of Motor Parks and Commercial Drivers for the awareness campaign was to reiterate the importance of health and wellness of FCT residents.

He asked the drivers to take heed on the negative effects of lethal combinations of “Agbo” formulations with alcoholic drinks to vital organs of the body.

To further emphasize the harmfulness of TCAM products, Pharmacist Uche Eze who delivered a lecture on Dangers inherent in TCAM, emphasized that, because it is from a natural source (roots and herbs) does not mean it is safe hence not being exposed to these harmful substances is the best cautioned because consequences are gross and very expensive.