General News of Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Former President, John Dramani Mahama has expressed worry over a surge in HIV/AIDS cases and Tramadol abuse among the youth in the country.
Mr. Mahama in a statement on his Facebook wall to wish Muslims well in the Holy Month of fasting, referred to as Ramadan said the country should be concerned about issues relating to HIV and Tramadol abuse.
“Reports of HIV & AIDS infection cases and the recent, not unconnected, surge of Tramadol abuse – what some have termed the ‘silent ebola,’ – among the youth should be a matter of concern to all,” he said.
John Mahama further called for adequate counseling and treatment for persons who require such services.
“Therefore as we pray, let us also commit to working harder on counselling our young people about their life choices and also provide treatment support for all who may be in need,” he added.
Tramadol is a pain relief drug, which according to medical experts, functions like heroin and can cause psychotic problems as well as damage vital organs in the human body if abused.
Recent surveys have shown that the drug is being abused by some youths as well as some market women, drivers and students.
With regards to HIV/AID, the 2017 HIV Sentinel Survey (HSS) and Estimates Report, jointly released by the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NACP), revealed a surge in HIV cases in the country.
The report said about 19,101 new HIV infections were recorded in 2017.
It also ranked Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions as having the highest HIV rates in the country.
Tramadol abuse a ‘national threat’
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, had earlier described the Tramadol abuse as a national threat that must be urgently tackled.
Speaking at an Inter-Agency Forum on Strategies for Countering Counterfeit Drugs and Substance in Accra on Monday, the Minister said, “the recent issues on the abuse of drugs including tramadol and codeine has become a national threat. Which requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders.”
Below is the John Mahama’s full statement:
As the new crescent moon heralds the holy month of Ramadan, I extend my heartiest wishes to all Muslims in Ghana and the over 1.8 billion adherents of the faith across the world.
The Eid is a period that brings together families, communities and indeed, the entire nation for contemplation and the observance of pious prayer to the Almighty. It enjoins us to reflect on the mercies of Allah, to forgive one another, and be compassionate and serviceable to each other.
I am proud to have observed over the years that our nation derives her strength from our unity in diversity. This uniquely Ghanaian identity the world has come to appreciate finds expression in the peaceful and joyous manner in which people of different faiths join hands with our Muslim brothers and sisters to actively participate in Ramadan.
This is why we must do all that we can to remain united with a shared purpose aimed solely at the attainment of our nation’s progress.
It means looking out to guard against people who profit from dividing us; it means guarding against self-centered politicians whose utterances highlight our differences rather than what we have in common as a people; it means protecting our young people from militant and terror groups who through fake religious teachings may indoctrinate and recruit our youth to commit crimes.
Just as Ramadan epitomises endurance, discipline and moral uprightness, let us as adults, opinion leaders and religious leaders, take the responsibility to inculcate these values in our youth.
Reports of HIV & AIDS infection cases and the recent, not unconnected, surge of Tramadol abuse – what some have termed the ‘silent ebola,’ – among the youth should be a matter of concern to all.
Therefore as we pray, let us also commit to working harder on counselling our young people about their life choices and also provide treatment support for all who may be in need.
May Allah accept our humble supplications and May He visit prosperity on our land.