The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in partnership with the Nineteen Ninety-Seven (1997) year group of Achimota Secondary School have launched the 'Daabi Campaign', an awareness programme aimed at advising the youth to stay away from drugs.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, the objectives of the 'Daabi campaign' in schools are to increase coverage of substance abuse awareness in secondary and tertiary level institutions, and develop the youth as ambassadors in disseminating the dangers of drug abuse.
She also mentioned that the campaign seeks to advance the inclusivity of educational institutions in the FDA strategic plan for mitigating substance misuse in Ghana.
Explaining further, Madam Darko said “The Daabi Campaign simply put is an FDA initiative against substance abuse. Drug abuse is an abnormal pattern of substance use that persists despite adverse social, psychological, or medical consequences. The Say No to Drug Abuse music video dubbed “Daabi” features key industry players such as Kuami Eugene, Article Wan, Bogo Blay, Eno Barony, Amrado, Yaa Yaa amongst others”
“Indeed, I must applaud the efforts of my team at the FDA, MUSIGA under the presidency of Bice Osei Kufour popularly known as Obuor and the individual contributions of each and every artiste featured in this video. The lyrics and pictorial depictions of the video positions it as a vibe and a promising banger for the 2022 music charts”
She told the students that the World Drug Report, 2021 shows that, globally, the number of people using drugs are projected to increase 11 per cent by 2030 because of demographic changes alone; and low-income countries account for the lion’s share of this rise.
She revealed that the number of drug users in Africa are projected to rise in the next decade by as much as 40% as a result of the demographic peculiarities of this region.
Madam Darko stressed that the population in Africa is relatively younger, and drug use is higher among young people than older people.
“In Ghana, statistics show that more than 2700 boys and 3100 girls smoke cigarettes each day and shisha use is also higher in girls (1.7%) than boys (1.6%) probably due to the misconception that shisha is a safer alternative to cigarettes. Shisha has similar or even have worse health risks”
With the FDA having previously embarked on and seen the positive impact of interventions such as public education amongst the populace especially among the youth sees the substance abuse music video as an innovative strategy that takes into cognizance the vulnerability of the youth and the urgent need to comprehensively address the situation.
She was optimistic that together, the nation can leverage on the audiovisual advantage and the far-reaching network of the entertainment industry to strongly communicate the economic psychosocial and above all the health consequences of drug abuse.
“The FDA appreciates youth-led partnerships such as the OAA offers and welcomes other similar initiatives. The official launch today kick starts a nationwide campaign in schools in collaboration with the entertainment industry, media, other stakeholders, and the general public”
“Also, the FDA will introduce the FDA Drug Abuse Scheme which seeks to encourage student-led initiatives against substance abuse and in the long run establish a nationwide FDA network of drug abuse youth ambassadors. This drug abuse peer to peer prevention programme seeks to sustain the ‘Daabi campaign’ which is to be replicated in other schools”
In an exclusive interview with Thinknewsonline.com, Madam Delese said “I am worried about the rate at which the youth especially girls are abusing drugs. It is dangerous to their health and I will appeal to them to stop. Sometimes it is not the punishment that will make them stop but continuous advice can cause a great change”
“On the selection of the Artists for these projects, we threw our cards out to all but it was these few who openly accepted and came on board to bus this agenda and I optimistic that they can through music caused a change in the lives of the youth”
She appealed to parents not to leave the life of their wards into their own hands adding that a guardian who fails to perform his or her duty lives to regret the damage he or she will cause the child in future.
In other developments, the 1997-year group held a bonfire to climax their 25th anniversary after completing school.
The 1997 group used the bonfire celebration to mourn and pay rest to fourteen (14) of its members who had passed away.
In honouring their fallen colleagues, the old students observed a ‘balloon release’ in which 14 white helium-filled balloons were unleashed into the sky.
Artists such as Kuami Eugene, Eno Barony, Article Wan, Mr. Drew and DJ Vyrusky thrilled the students and old school mates with good music.
Watch the video and pictures below:
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith