World AIDS Day today: Campaign ‘No syringe – need life’ launched
LAHORE: A campaign titled “No syringe – need life” was launched against injection drug users (IDUs) in the provincial capital on the eve of World AIDS Day, being observed today (Monday).
Speaking at the launch of the campaign Chauburji Park, anti drugs/narcotics campaign consultant Syed Zulfiqar Hussain said that the Old City is the hub of IDUs.
“Chauburji Park, Ali Park, Data Darbar area, Lari Adda, Royal Park, Ravi Road, Lohari Gate, Bhatti Gate, Nasir Bagh, Shahra-e-Fatimah Jinnah, Railway Station, Nisbat Road, Lakshmi Chowk and Bund Road are the major areas where these IDUs can be found. The free syringe programme is a major cause of promoting addiction in the city and now we strongly condemn this programme.”
The new campaign, arranged under the auspices of the Drug Advisory Training Hub – a project of Youth Council for Anti Narcotics (YOCFAN) and the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) in connection World AIDS Day, also focuses on changing dirty clothes of IDUs, cutting their nails and hair, and providing counselling session.
Govt Degree College for Women, China Scheme, Principal Prof Shahnaz Sattar and University of Central Punjab VIS Manager MA Rehman were the chief guests on the occasion. Psychologists, members of different NGOs and students also participated in the campaign.
Addressing the participants, Zulfiqar Hussain said the total population of Lahore was now 9 million, and that it was unfortunate that thousands of drug addicts were involved in using hard and soft drugs in public places, like gardens and footpaths in different areas of the city.
He informed the participants that Lahore was ranked second (after Karachi) where drug addiction was very high. He said that most of those addicts were IDUs.
“In recent years, the number of IDUs has increased in Lahore. We have started this new campaign against IDUs for the first time in the city on a self-help basis, and hope we will give a positive message against drugs,” he added.
He said that since the government would announce the drug policy at the provincial level, it should invite all stakeholders before formation of the policy. “The government must ensure that all controlled drugs being sold at medical stores are given to consumers only on the prescription of a medical doctor,” he said, adding that the Health Department must check drug abuse through proper inspection.
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