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“I have been injecting drugs for a long time and we share syringes,” says Ali, who lives in the suburb of the Federal Capital Territory and was recently diagnosed to be co-infected with Tuberculosis and HIV.

Consequent to difficulties of life in the streets, Ali was exposed to drug use as early as age 10 and started using injectable drugs when he was 14.

“I wish I can stop now though, but it is very difficult” he laments.

“I have been injecting drugs for a long time and we share syringes,” says Ali, who lives in the suburb of the Federal Capital Territory and was recently diagnosed to be co-infected with Tuberculosis and HIV.

Consequent to difficulties of life in the streets, Ali was exposed to drug use as early as age 10 and started using injectable drugs when he was 14.

“I wish I can stop now though, but it is very difficult” he laments.

In response to the plight of people like Ali, the Federal Government is making moves to end communicable diseases among people who use drugs, a Press release distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa has stated.

According to the World Health Organisation, as of 2017 estimated that 271 million people globally were said to use drugs of which 11.3 million are injectable.

In addition to associated mortality, injecting drug use has been linked with transmission of communicable diseases including HIV, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis and a host of other blood-borne infections.

People who inject drugs account for 10% of HIV infections and about 23% of new Hepatitis C infections, while Tuberculosis is a leading AIDS-defining illness and cause of mortality among people living with HIV who inject drugs.

“Nigeria, with her huge population continues to experience an untold effect of drug use especially among youth,” say Mr. Mashood Lawal, Director Food and Drugs, Federal Ministry of Health.

In addition, government is making concerted efforts to address communicable diseases associated with drug use.

This is being achieved through programming for key population groups within various national programmes focusing mainly on behavioral change and preventive interventions, including attempts at biomedical support and dilatory effects.

An independent report commissioned by the Global Fund in 2016 indicates a burgeoning need for a full package of interventions for these population group as defined by WHO.

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