Tanzania is working to develop a special biological agent which can totally destroy the Cannabis (Marijuana) weeds right from the roots.
The country seems to be adopting a more practical and technological solution in eradicating the notorious problem of the drug in the country. especially in the Northern Zone highlands.
That was stated in Arusha by the Commissioner General of Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) Aretas Lyimo at the threshold of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The Commissioner General pointed out previously many countries were envisaging to deploy special cannabinoid weed killer to destroy the marijuana plants, but the international communities warned against its environmental hazards.
“We are therefore working to come up with a much safer biological agent that can only kill the cannabis weeds without causing adverse effects to other vegetation and the soil,” Commissioner Lyimo added.
It was also observed during the International Day against Drug Abuse, that most of the new HIV and Aids infections, affected mostly drug abusing young men and women.
The Director of the Tanzania Health Promotion Support Dr Redempta Mbatia said the THPS, have been trying to assist drug users to recover from the narcotic effects, but the mission also entails prescription of HIV-Aids drugs.
She revealed that the THPS has carried out HIV counselling and testing to 1,121 clients whereby 54 (5 percent) were diagnosed with HIV.
They were enrolled in care and treatment services at Tumbi Regional Referral Hospital and Bagamoyo District Hospital MAT clinics.
Furthermore 887 clients received COVID-19 vaccine at both MAT clinics.
On the other hand, through the support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Global Fund, the THPS has reached and tested for HIV, 1296 people who inject drugs (PWID).
About 1541 people who inject have been provided with social behaviour change communication (SBCC) sessions and 20 PWID have been referred to Mount Meru MAT clinic in Arusha in the quarter of January to March 2023.
One of the former drug abusers, Erick Bernard speaking on behalf of others said the racket has been driving many of them into serious crimes including theft and robbery.
Among them there, 211 (16 percent) were identified with HIV, and 207 (98 percent) were initiated on antiretroviral therapy.
The 2023 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking being observed at National Levels in Arusha runs under the theme of ‘People First: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention.
By May 2023, among 1121 cumulatively enrolled clients in MAT clinic, 821 (73.2percent) are currently attending regularly.