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January 20, 2019

Kiosks key source of drugs for primary school pupils

A man lights up an unknown substance to smoke/XFILE
A man lights up an unknown substance to smoke/XFILE

Twenty nine per cent of primary pupils get drugs and other substances from shops near their schools, a report has shown.

The report commissioned by National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (Nacada) further shows that 26 per cent get the drugs from bars near school.

Friends and local brew dens were also identified as other important sources accounting for 19 and 18 per cent respectively.

It was conducted by Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) in June targeted primary school pupils aged 11-15 in class five to eight.

“They cited other sources which included school workers, matatu touts, purchase over the counter in chemists, and drug peddlers that roam around the school compound,” Rose Ngugi, KIPPRA executive director said.

Read: 4.9m Kenyans abusing alcohol and drugs, high schools a haven - Nacada

Pupils from Kakamega disclosed they get alcohol from home since majority of their parents brew at home.

According to the report, 13.6 per cent said they carry the substances from home while 13.7 per cent bought them from their friends.

“In addition, drug traffickers use all baits to recruit children since they prefer to use them in distribution of drugs as they are perceived to be cheap, easy to control, expendable and cannot be easily suspected. This is likely to further expose children to drug use or substance abuse,” Ngugi said.

“Although the knowledge of the harmfulness of drugs and substances is generally high across the counties for most drugs, the potential harmful effects of prescription drugs are generally low across most counties,” the report shows.

The report recommends need to sensitise primary school pupils not only about drugs in general but also on prescription drugs and their possible harmful effects. To be effective the awareness campaigns should also target parents/guardians and teachers.

The Ministry of Education and Nacada together with other stakeholders have been called upon to design simple information materials for learners in early grades and share with faith-based organisations for dissemination.

More: Marijuana, miraa use on the rise among Embu learners - officer

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