A SUBSTANCE abuse campaign held by Buffalo City Metro (BCM) Health District in Breidbach last week was a huge success, with a large attendance by youth and community members.
The event saw captivating performances by young people from all corners of BCM who showed off their talents through song, dance, and poetry to the excitement of the audience.
BCM HIV prevention manager Ntombi Makinana said they had follow-up meetings with their partners such as the departments of social development and education, as well as NGOs TB/HIV Care, Humana People to People, Bumb’ Ingomso, Injongo Youth Development and Beyond Zero. The Department of Health acted as host for the meetings.
“The aim of the event was to gather youth under one roof and provide them with health information and address social ills,” Makinana said. “The theme for this year is ‘My Health, My Choice, My Future’ and the focus was on substance abuse among the with youth and its challenges on youth health and families.”
“We also wanted to listen to them and to get information from them on why they are involving themselves in substance abuse, as well as provide them with opportunities available so they can make informed decisions.”
Vovee Batala was the programme director and an inspiration to the youth as he entertained them with encouraging words of wisdom and song.
Ward Councillor Sixolisiwe Ntsasela, in her welcoming speech, commended the host and the stakeholders for bringing an event of such magnitude to Breidbach and also praised the youth for taking the opportunity to attend.
Local resident, David Jackson, was the motivational speaker and explained to the youth how he was once caught up in drugs. “It always starts when you want to experiment or try it yourself and this was how I started using dagga at the age of nine years,” Jackson said.
“I became so addicted that it later ended up with mandrax, which landed me in jail. The biggest problem now is tik and it’s not only in my community but all over the country.”
“Some might argue and say it’s not friends who that lead you do it but when you are with the wrong group of friends, then you will end up doing what they do.”
Breidbach Clinic operational manager, Sister Yoliswa Qamba, said the campaign was well-received by the Breidbach youth. “We as the clinic with our committee visited schools to mobilise the youth and the response was indicated by the full halls,” Qamba said.