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FOMWAN equips counselors with skills to tackle drug addiction


Drug abuse. PHOTO: BBC

The Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) Lagos state has enhanced the skills of counsellors in responding to the cases of drug abuse in the country.

Specialists attended the program, from National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) and the Federal Neuropsychiatric hospital Yaba.

During the workshop, themed “Training The Trainers For Counselling Drug Addiction “ the National Chairman of FOMWAN community development and humanitarian services Alhaja Khaerat Oluwatoyin Sadiq, said “All FOWAN affiliates have one or two programs dealing with the issue of counselling but we discovered that it is not enough so we decided at the national level to have pilot states which are Lagos, kano, kaduna and Gombe to take the issue of counselling as a full program.

We want to train some of our members in addition to the stakeholders that are partnering with us to go back to their state and train their own members and stakeholders who will now in turn form the FOMWAN counselling unit.”

She also said that the full implementation of the counselling units would kick off as soon as the training ends.

The Amirah (President) FOMWAN Lagos chapter Dr. (Mrs.) Halima Egbenrongbe said the program was brought up because of the importance of counselling in transforming the society.

“This program was conceptualized when we felt the need to transform the society through using counselling methods to ensure women, especially Muslim women can go away from abusing drugs. They are a lot of societal ills, which is caused by drug abuse.

Part of this counselling training is also to address parent on the issue of neglecting children upbringing which makes them go wayward,” she said.

The Vice president of FOMWAN Lagos chapter Alhaja Omolara Dada said “As mothers we can not watch the future of our children being ruin by the intake of drugs so we felt concerned and tried to do something about it.

One of our founding mothers, the former deputy governor of Lagos state Alhaja Lateefa modupeola Okunnu is the facilitator and she has been working tirelessly to bring this program to life.

We are about to create units for counselling which will not only be on drug abuse but also on marriage counselling and other cases.”

She also added that the counsellors also refer people with drug abuse case to the Federal Neuropsychiatric hospital Yaba because drug substance tends to affect the brain.

The Public Relations Officer of FOMWAN Alhaja Olanipekun Amudat said “FOMWAN is the umbrella body of all Muslim women association in Nigeria, we have seen what is going on in our community especially with women and children, drug abuse has caused lots of havoc in the life of the users.

The most pathetic aspect is that little children from primary schools and mothers are now involved in drug abuse, so it is in the view of this that the National body has given us the directives to carry out this program.”

A participant Alhaja Serifat Alaba Bamidele said the counselling program will make her able to teach members of FOMWAN in her community on how to counsel on drug abuse which will help in making the nation at large a better place and make the future of young children bright.

Honorary guest of FOMWAN Dr. Toyin Sanbe said “This program is expected to go down to all parts of the country because the people here are representing members from every part of the country, so we expect the FOMWAN members to be able to help relatives of drug addicts an refer them to the appropriate hospital for proper treatment.”

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