JIS News

A number of schools and youth groups across the island benefited from the interventions of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) during the 2004/05 fiscal year, as the agency continued to carry out its mandate of preventing drug abuse through education.
According to the Health Ministry’s annual report, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on October 3, the interventions included presentations at 60 schools, 20 parent teachers’ associations, 25 churches, 15 youth clubs, and 10 service clubs, which were aimed at building awareness and educating students about the harmful effects of drug use and abuse.
The NCDA also mounted exhibitions at health fairs, workplaces and other community fora, in addition to hosting poster competitions and disseminating information on drug abuse prevention. The Paper cited that materials developed under the European Union project for school and community initiatives were printed during the 2004/2005 period, with some 6,000 booklets being issued at the grade one to 11 levels.
In addition, some 12,000 wall charts and 6,000 resource books were created to be used in community programmes. The distribution of the materials, which included 18,000 pamphlets, was a collaborative initiative between the NCDA and the Ministry of Education and Youth.
In the second quarter of the fiscal year, the Council sought to introduce three research-based programmes within the schools – Project Squeaky, Rosebud (a PTA initiative) and Resistance Education Against Drugs and HIV/AIDS (READ). Meanwhile, during the course of the fiscal year, the Information and Research Division of the NCDA created several indigenous drug abuse programmes with evaluation tools.
“There was an expansion in demand for services offered including the use of the information centre, which is the only special library focusing on drug abuse in the Caribbean; provision of posters, flyers, and research support,” the Ministry Paper stated.
Some of the highlights of the year under, review for the Information and Research Division, were the launch and implementation of Project Squeaky, which is funded by the United States government; the implementation of the Fishing for Cocaine study with funding from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC); and expansion of activities within the productivity centre.
The Council also produced public service announcements for television with a view to strengthen the national thrust to reduce the demand for drugs.
The NCDA’s information centre, throughout the 2004/2005 period, was used by several researchers, media practitioners, as well as local and international information centres in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Paper detailed that the NCDA also initiated the process of cataloguing its material in keeping with the standards of international library services, with special reference to the systems used by the Organisation of American States.
The NCDA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Health and its operational budget is funded by the government.

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