Councillor engages young women on substance abuse

Young women from Bulawayo’s Ward 17 have lamented the widespread use of dangerous drugs in the community, calling for an effective way of dealing with the challenge. 

The young women had a community engagement at Pumula North Hall with their councillor Sikhululekile Moyo, Monday, where they discussed the issue at length among other challenges that they encounter in the community. 

The participants at the meeting highlighted that young women are experimenting with a lot of products to make concoctions that make them high.

“Young women are not innocent in the issue of drug abuse. There are some who are masterminds of some dangerous concoctions that are being abused in our community. A lot of products that can never be suspected are being abused in homes. It is important to have parents informed of these issues,” a participant noted. 

“Some young people are mixing Cerevita (cereal) and Mazoe Orange Crush to make intoxicating concoctions. Some use Geisha bath soap to make similar concoctions. A number of boarding schools have since banned parents from sending Cerevita and Mazoe to schools because children abuse these.” 

Another participant noted that there are some who take advantage of drug awareness programs to obtain information on how they can use various products to make drugs. 

“Some young people take advantage of spaces where awareness is raised on drug abuse. Detailed information on how various products are abused are shared on public platforms, some take that information and make the drugs themselves,” a participant says. 

“Some also go there so that they can have information on who sells drugs where and how. This is one thing that we really need to be conscious of when we have such engagements. It is not everyone who attends with the same objective of fighting drug abuse.” 

 The young women also discussed issues of early pregnancy, noting this is a result of difficulties in accessing sexual reproductive health services at public health facilities. 

They said sometimes when they get to local clinics nurses are not kind to them, they call them names hence they shy from accessing the services. 

Cllr Moyo informed them of the importance of making use of available contraceptives so as to prevent early pregnancies and that some clinics have corners set specifically to assist young women. 

She also advised that the safest contraceptive to use is a condom for it protects against both STIs and pregnancy. 

In a sideline interview with CITE, Cllr Moyo said she has been approached by a number of young women in her ward speaking about the aforementioned issues hence the need to have the engagement. 

“On several occasions, the young women have come to me. Some come to my inbox, some to my house. They need information about these issues hence this meeting. At times when we hold meetings, they may be barred by parents to attend so we decided to dedicate a special time for them,” Cllr Moyo said. 

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