An international health organisation has started building a Sh465 million rehabilitation centre in Kiambu to provide comprehensive medical care for drug users.
Speaking on Friday at Karuri Level 4 Hospital in Kiambaa, Governor Ferdinand Waititu said the facility will rehabilitate addicts from other counties as well.
Waititu said alcoholism and drug abuse among the youth was a menace. He called for concerted efforts to contain the two.
Kiambu is ranked fourth in drug addiction, with Mombasa, Kisumu and Kilifi in the lead.
The international medical organisation Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in December signed a memorandum of understanding with Kiambu county to have them build a medically assisted therapy clinic at the hospital.
“The reason I started Kaa Sober programme is because I wanted to help our young people who are hooked to drugs and anybody supporting this cause is much welcome. We have an international investor who will build a rehabilitation centre that will go a long way into helping people who use drugs,” the governor said.
He said he will use more money to make sure those who start the recovery journey can start businesses to fend for themselves.
“I have been criticised that I am wasting money to rehabilitate youths but I will not relent on this effort and I will still use more money to give to them so that they can start businesses through Jijenge fund. If we are spending government money, why shouldn’t the common mwananchi enjoy the money?” he posed.
The project is expected to take three years.
MSF will first construct the clinic at Sh50 million which will provide care to over 1,500 drug users. The clinic will also provide medically assisted therapy (MAT) to drug addicts.
Kiambu Health executive Mary Kamau expressed regret that drug abuse had taken a serious toll in the area and the clinic will contribute to a reduction in the mortality and morbidity linked to illegal drug use.