A Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator has called for reinforcement of security at the country’s border posts to curb the smuggling of dangerous drugs.
MP for Mufakose, Susan Matsunga, noted that there is a need to fight the peddling of drugs in the country, a move that will protect young people from the effects of these illicit drugs.
“It seems as if security at our ports of entry is very weak because drugs are smuggled into the country through these ports. Right now, even the way the youths speak has changed and their health has deteriorated due to drugs and substance abuse,” Matsunga said.
“If you go to Harare Hospital, there is a ward that has boys and girls who use broncleer who now have problems with their internal organs. If you visit the psychiatric hospital, there are youths with mental illnesses due to the use of drugs.”
Matsunga said there is a need to have a ministry that deals specifically with children’s issues so that they can get adequate protection and support as far as drugs are concerned.
“My plea is that there should be a Ministry that deals with children’s issues. The current Ministry of Health and Child Care is looking at a lot of things and it does not focus on children alone. Children are affected because there are people who are selling and giving them drugs,” she said.
“It will be the responsibility of the Ministry to stop the trafficking of drugs and to ensure that there are rehabilitation centres that assist these youths. Mostly, the children reside in high-density areas and cannot afford to visit rehabilitation centres that charge services in foreign currency.”
Matsunga added that children are not affected by drugs alone.
“Children need other forms of assistance but they might lack parental or guardian care. The children might end up falling pregnant because of lack of help,” she said.
“Most people do not care much about children who seem to be mentally disturbed. It is important to have health facilities where the children are examined to see if they are mentally fit.”