BY JEHOSHAPHAT ODIDI
Uganda Christian University launched the Easter 2020 semester Health Awareness Week on February 2.
The event was launched by Dr Edward Mukooza, the Principal of ICMI and Dr Geoffrey Mulindwa from the Allan Galpin Clinic in conjunction with the Honours College and business faculty of UCU.
The week’s events are focusing on drug and substance abuse, with the aim of teaching students how to deal with stress without reaching for drugs.
The week is running under the theme, “My Brother’s Keeper: Harsh Facts About Substance Abuse, Genesis 4:9”.
Dr Mulindwa told The Standard that during the week, they need to discover the family friends and affiliates that know about individuals struggling with drug addiction.
Counsellors from Butabika Mental Health Institute were invited to offer services to students and staff on drug abuse and addiction.
Irene Ojambo, a counsellor at the university said that to raise awareness about drug and substance abuse, para-counsellors will play a role in sensitizing the community.
Para-counsellors are people who are not professionally trained cousellors, people who do not have formal counselling qualifications, but who by virtue of their work would need to provide some form of counselling to the people they serve.
These are school teachers and students that went through the training.
Members of Honours College have also announced that they will premier a 30-minute-long video titled “My Decision” that they believe will have an impact on the students regarding drug abuse.
The administrator of the Honours College, Emmanuel Isabirye, said the video will be shown at Nkoyoyo Hall, the dining hall, and at different hostels.
In relation to drug and substance abuse, Rev Peter Ddamba, the male warden for Nsibambi Hall will also lead the ‘Men’s Talk’ at Nsibambi Hall which will also focus on drug abuse.
The health awareness committee has already met with hostel owners to discuss matters concerning substance abuse.
There will also be a number of sports activities in the week, blood donation, dental check-ups, mental health check-ups, plus screening for hepatitis, HIV, cancer and sickle cell disease.
However, the organisers of the event have found some challenges in mobilizing the students.
Ronald Komakech, a member of the committee told The Standard that because of the difficulty of mobilizing students they resorted to using banners and posters to increase awareness to achieve a successful event.”