WENDU condemns illicit supply, use of drugs in West Africa

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A report by the West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (WENDU 2014 – 2017) says illicit drug supply and use pose enormous challenges to countries in West Africa.

The WENDU Report is the first-ever regional report on illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse in West Africa.

It was prepared through the collaborative efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with financial support from European Union.

A statement by Mr Sylvester Atere, the UNODC Outreach and Communications Officer on Thursday in Abuja, says the WENDU report released on Oct. 30, called for sustainable solutions to overcome the lack of reliable evidence for policy formulation and evaluation of interventions in the region.

He stated that “the report aims at shaping evidence-based policy decisions and practice, address the social, health and economic consequences of substance use by identifying risk factors for drug use and targets for preventive healthcare in the region.

“It focuses on drug interdiction, substance use disorders and treatment, presents the stark realities of the vulnerability of West Africa and Mauritania.’’

Atere noted that “the report presents the realities of the vulnerability of the region to illicit drug use, production and trafficking, and its spillover effects as an issue of great public health and safety concerns. It also presents it as a threat to good governance, development, peace and security in the region.” 

Bilkisu Pai