Gulu decries alcohol abuse in schools


Medical experts and education leaders in Gulu District have expressed concern over the increasing alcohol abuse cases among students, arguing that it could affect academic performance.

Mr William Odur, a psychiatrist at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, said majority of high school students in the district are involved in excessive consumption of alcohol.

“Over the years, we have registered many cases of students being brought at the Psychiatric Ward for rehabilitation as a result of addiction of alcohol. Others we receive have been using drugs that have since affected them mentally,” said Mr Odur.

He raised the concern at the launch of the ‘Red Card Campaign’, an initiative of Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) in partnership with Straight Talk Foundation held in Gulu Town last week.

‘Red Card Campaign’ is aimed at educating students about the dangers of alcohol.
“The Psychiatric Ward at the hospital once in a while admits students from various secondary schools within the district that are addicted to alcohol or other drugs for psychosocial therapy,” Mr Odur said.

He noted that most of the schools seem to have given up on stringent school rules against alcohol and drug abuse.

Call for education
The district education officer, the Rev Fr Vincent Ocen Ocheng, said the habit is almost all institutions of learning.

Rev Ocheng noted that school administrators must come up with clear rules and regulations, provide counseling services as well as educate students on the dangers of alcohol.

Ms Rhona Arinaitwe, the UBL corporate relations officer, said they conducted a pilot project last year and found alcohol consumption in the region is so high.

“We have injected more than Shs300 million in this initiative and 20 schools within the district will benefit from our project,” Ms Arinaitwe said.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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