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Local Groups Collect Data on Illicit Drug Users Across Liberia


                     Madam Jodie Reid Seton of LIFE collecting information from a female drug user – ©2016-MHRN                        

Monrovia – With the increasing wave of illicit drugs abuse among young people in the Country, three local non-profit groups launch a campaign to collect the census of drug users throughout Liberia.

Liberians Against Drugs Abuse (LADA), the Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) and the Mental Health Reporters Network (MHRN) embarked on the collection of tangible data to share with partners that want to create programs on the use of illicit substance in the country.

“This is the beginning of a yearlong activities to collect relevant information on the number of drug users in the Country”; says Eugene David, Executive Director of LADA. 

He then emphasized that “the census will also provide data on the kinds of illicit substances consumed and the disaggregation of male and females living in ghettos in the various communities”.

The census is also targeting vulnerable females and children living in ghettos. “We are looking to profiling young women and girls on drugs as well as children living in deplorable conditions such as graves”, Madam Jodie Reid Seton, Founder and executive Director of Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE).

“We catalogued girls at low as age 12 living in the Palm Grove Cemetery on Center Street. They live in appalling conditions and reported continuous abuse of their rights”; Madam Seton noted.

“I shed tears when I saw children living in the ghetto. They are not going to school and their appearances show sign of absolutely no future for them”.

The three organizations contributed their meagre resources to start the campaign with no funding from Government and Donor partners.

The Mental Health Reporters Network is providing technical support, data collection and analysis.  They conduct Sunday meals for Drugs Users popularly known as “Zogo” in their data collection quest.

A total of 204 substance users were enumerated during the inauguration of the census on Center Street near the Palm Grove Cemetery.

The organizations will continue to the exercise throughout Montserrado County during the last quarter of 2016 before moving on to Margibi, Grand Bassa and Bomi and Cape Mount in the first Quarter of 2017.

They are however looking forward to raising funds through crowdfunding and writing donor agencies and government for support to enumerate drug users that voluntarily turnout to be counted. They said that they will sample an estimated 100,000 illicit drugs users throughout Liberia.

Originally published on Front Page Africa: https://goo.gl/t2c8Zd

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