THE Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) which was formed by President John Magufuli in 2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology intend to include illicit drugs' lesson into school syllabuses.
The authority in collaboration with the ministry has also successfully managed to influence the formation of clubs in schools with the purpose of fighting the use of illicit drugs.
Minister of State in The Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and Disabled) Jenista Mhagama told the Parliament on Thursday that her office was doing everything in its capacity to ensure the youth receive knowledge on disadvantages and dangers of using and engaging in businesses related to illicit drugs.
The minister was responding to Special Seats MP, Fakharia Shomar Khamis (CUF), who wanted to know what the government was doing to ensure students are trained on issues related to drug abuse.
She said students need to understand the disadvantages of using drugs so that they can be good ambassadors against the illegal business.
In her response, the minister said DCEA is focusing on providing education to the public on the problems resulting from using drugs, and that it has been doing a good job by reaching students in various schools across the country.
She said youths who are in schools, colleges and universities are given priority by DCEA in the education against the use and dealing in drugs.
In November Last year, it was revealed that the country had significantly succeeded in the fight against illicit drugs, with UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) showing heroin imports and abuse dropped by 90 per cent last year.
However, cultivation and abuse of marijuana and khat remain a serious challenge in the country, according to Minister Mhagama.
She was giving the remarks before the media after tabling in the National Assembly a report on the status of illicit drugs in Tanzania for 2018.
Apart from the successes in curbing importation of industrial illicit drugs, particularly heroine, Ms Mhagama said the country was facing a challenge of fighting locally grown drugs, which includes marijuana and khat which are cultivated in many parts of the country.
The minister named six leading regions in the drug cultivation, namely Mara, Tanga, Kagera, Ruvuma, Morogoro and Arusha.
Available reports indicate that at least 188 million people across the globe were abusing drugs in 2017, representing 3.8 per cent of the world population aged between 15 and 64 years.
The report, quoting UNODC figures of 2016, shows that 13.8 million people across 130 countries aged between 15 and 16 years admitted to having used marijuana at least once in six months.
The world drugs report 2019 indicates that 271 million people, 5.5 per cent of the world population aged between 15 and 64 years, died due to drug abuse.