Tharaka Nithi County, Upper Eastern Region -
, 2023 -
, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nakhumicha S. Wafula, and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua spearheaded a significant multi-agency gathering at Kirubia Stadium, focused on combatting illicit brew and substance abuse in the region. This event marked the third installment of a series of meetings aimed at addressing the pressing issues surrounding these challenges.
The regional convening brought together stakeholders from Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Marsabit, Embu, and Isiolo counties, who joined forces to tackle the pervasive problems of illicit brew and substance abuse. The Deputy President emphasized the crucial significance of collaboration among all stakeholders in effectively addressing these issues that have been plaguing the region.
In a proactive move to combat the growing concerns related to mental health, primarily stemming from drug and alcohol addiction, the Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha said the Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently in the process of formulating a comprehensive mental health policy. This policy will provide a strategic framework to address the root causes and consequences of mental health challenges within the affected communities.
Starting next month, the MOH will implement a robust initiative by deploying over 100,000 community health promoters equipped with electronic devices. “These dedicated promoters will play a vital role in data collection and transmission from households, with a primary focus on mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, and other critical primary healthcare matters,” she said. This proactive approach aims to gather accurate and timely information to inform evidence-based interventions and support those affected by these pressing concerns.
It is well recognized that drug and alcohol addiction have detrimental consequences, leading to various diseases and social issues. In particular, the recklessness associated with substance use contributes to the spread of sexually transmitted illnesses. Moreover, the negative impact on productivity within affected communities necessitates urgent and comprehensive action.
The collaborative efforts demonstrated at the regional gathering underscore the commitment of both government and non-governmental stakeholders in combatting illicit brew and substance abuse