Health Ministry records 94 drug-related cases, 4 deaths

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By Amadou Manjang 

According to the Ministry of Health Situation Report of substance abuse, 94 cases and 4 associated deaths are recorded. 

The 2nd Situational Report focuses on the suspected cases of drug and substance abuse in the Western 1 health region.

‘In early February 2024, The Epidemiology and Disease Control Unit was notified of an upsurge in cases of suspected substance abuse in the Western 1 health region. All of the cases presented with pain, swollen tongue, and lips, drooling saliva, and restlessness. As of 5th May 2024, 74 cases and 4 associated deaths were reported.

The report that Foroyaa showed highlighted that one hundred and two [102] people were interdicted.

It added that 83 cases were registered by the Drug and Law Enforcement Agency in the second quarter of 22024. 

Among the interdicted people, 70 are Gambians, 28 are Sierra Leoneans, 2 are Senegalese, 1 Nigerian, and 1 Conakry Guinean.

In these cases, 6 kilograms of 7,735mg of suspected Kush drugs were confiscated by the Drug and Law Enforcement Agency.

‘Almost all cases were male (97%, 91/94) with a median age of 24 years (ranging 14-58 years).  This means that 50% of cases are below 24 years of age.’

The majority of the victims are young males. The affected age group was 14-23 years with 62%, which is about 51/87 people.

Kombo North recorded the highest number of cases (47%) while Baku  recorded  (10%), Jabang (7%), Sukuta (6%), and Talinding (6%)

The cases were reported from health facilities in Banjul, Kanifing, Serekunda, Sukuta, Banjulindin, Brufut, and New Yundum.

Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital received 41% of the reported cases while Kanifing General Hospital received 37% of the reported cases. 

The Ministry of Health further highlighted their surveillance team will continue to monitor cases.

Meanwhile, the ministry highlighted that insufficient funding is affecting their work.