AFRICA/SENEGAL - "No to street drugs": Christian and Muslim leaders united against illegal drugs

Wednesday, 3 August 2016 healthcare  

Dakar (Agenzia Fides) - Religious Christians and Muslims together to raise awareness in Senegal on the risks of counterfeit drugs for sale on the streets of the Country.
The interfaith initiative is part of the national campaign launched by the Senegalese government against so-called "street drugs". The campaign is organized by the Ministry of Health and Social Action, with the technical support of the World Health Organization and the European Union, in order to eradicate the illicit market of drugs in Senegal.
To this end Fr. Bernard Diouf, head of health pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Dakar, and El Hadj Oumar Diène, Secretary General of the Imams and Ulemas of Senegal, participated in a training seminar organized by the local authorities, which aims to find forms of communication to convince the faithful of both religions to change behavior towards the purchase of illegal drugs.
The Senegalese authorities believe that religious leaders can play an important role in raising awareness about the risks of "street drugs".
The poor in particular resort to the black market to buy cheap drugs, often ineffective or even harmful, causing health hazards. "No to street drugs" said the iman and the Catholic priest. "We will send the message to the imams, so that they address the issue of street drugs in their sermons. We are also committed to addressing the problem in our different Muslim religious programs on the radio as on television", said imam El Hadj Oumar Diène.
Fr. Bernard Diouf, on his behalf, said that the Church fights everything that attacks human life and its dignity, and promised to send to the Archbishop of Dakar, Mgr. Benjamin Ndiaye, the information necessary to involve all diocesan structures in the countryside.
The campaign started on July 24 and will end on August 31, it aims to inform the population to buy generic drugs in regular pharmacies, less expensive, instead of "street drugs". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/08/2016)