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ECOWAS unveils report on illicit drugs

By Oludare Richards, Abuja
16 September 2021   |   3:04 am
Findings on illicit drug supply and use in West Africa have shown that about 74 persons per one million population accessed treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs)

Findings on illicit drug supply and use in West Africa have shown that about 74 persons per one million population accessed treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) in the region in 2018 and 2019.

This was disclosed in the West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (WENDU) regional report on illicit drug supply and use launched by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission on Tuesday.

The 2018-2019 WENDU report was officially launched by Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd).

ECOWAS Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne, said prior to the WENDU project, access to reliable and comparable data on illicit drug supply and use in West Africa was a huge challenge.

The Commissioner said the collation, analysis, and dissemination of the report aligns with the objective of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan mandating the Commission and Member States to develop a sustainable system of relevant, valid, and reliable data on drug use, illicit drug trafficking, and related organised crime in the region.

Highlights of the report were presented by Dr. Olubusayo Akinola, Programme Officer, Drug Demand Reduction, ECOWAS Commission. These included estimates and trends on drug supply and use, as well as trafficking in substandard, spurious, falsified, and counterfeit medicinal products in West Africa.