UNODC supports Senegal in the development of a drug information system

Funded by the Government of France

The UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch, together with the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa, organized a three and a half days training workshop in Dakar from 27 to 30 November 2018 on the treatment demand indicator (TDI).

The TDI is a key epidemiological indicator which gathers objective, reliable and comparable information concerning drugs, drug addiction and their consequences from people entering drug treatment services each year. The TDI is the first pillar in the development of a national drug information system in Senegal.

UNODC collaborates closely with the Ministry of Interior, Comité interministériel de lutte contre la drogue (CILD), the Ministry of Health, Commission de protection des données personnelles (CDP), World Health Organization (WHO) and 15 treatment centers across the country on this matter. Overall, 35 participants attended the workshop, including 14 women.

"I think this training session comes at the right time, as it will allow you to have the collection tools needed to gather data, and to build a network that can provide us with reliable figures of the drug use in Senegal", says Professor Aida Sylla, Chief of the Division of Mental Health within the Ministry of Health, addressing the representatives of the 15 treatment centers during her opening speech. 

 
 Group photo of the participants

 

In Senegal, UNODC is working on establishing sound epidemiological data on drug consumption. In recent years, drug use has steadily increased in West and Central Africa. The increase in drug use may be related to different socio-economic factor, youth disillusionment and lack of perspectives which result in increased criminal activity and drug use.

The lack of operational national data collection systems in the region make statistics unreliable, yet it has become apparent that drug use and its related problems exist at all levels of society. To fill this gap of knowledge on the increase of drug use and drug dependence in the region, UNODC supports the government of Senegal in the implementation of drug demand reduction relevant data collection activities in the country, especially with a view to develop a National Drug Information System in Senegal which could serve as a sub-regional observatory on drugs in other French-speaking West African Countries in the future.

This UNODC training workshop on the TDI focused on the importance of gathering anonymized and agglomerated information on drug users who come into contact with drug treatment facilities, making it possible to characterize the problematic drug users and the substances being used. The participants will act as mediators and share their newly acquired knowledge with the rest of their colleagues in their respective facilities. Being able to provide this indicator would be an important step for Senegal towards the establishment of strong epidemiological base for the observation of the drugs phenomenon and would allow meeting a large part of the regional and international data reporting requirements.

As of January 2019, monthly TDI reports about problematic drug users will help shape an accurate picture of the drug consumption in the country, with the aim to improve evidence-based drug dependence treatment and care services in line with the third UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): Good Health and Well-Being for All!

For more information:

Drug dependence, treatment and care