Former President John Dramani Mahama has urged Muslims to use the period of Ramadan to pray against the increasing cases of HIV & AIDS infection and the abuse of Tramadol in the country.
In a Facebook post, the former president said: “Reports of HIV & AIDS infection cases and the recent, not unconnected, surge of Tramadol abuse – what some have termed the ‘silent Ebola,’ – among the youth should be a matter of concern to all.
“Therefore, as we pray, let us also commit to working harder on counselling our young people about their life choices and also provide treatment support for all who may be in need. May Allah accept our humble supplications and May He visit prosperity on our land.’’
Tramadol is a synthetic opioid which acts very much like heroin, a psychoactive substance with a major effect on the mind.
The youth abuse it for sexual ecstasy and energy purposes and is often added to drinks or beverages to give a heightened experience of ‘feeling high’ and pleasure.
Intake of this drug induces user’s brain to keep craving for more than one actually needs making it difficult for them to live without it.
Persons hooked on this drug cannot perform their normal functions, without it, therefore, making them addicted or dependent on it. It should be noted that overdose can lead to coma or even death.
It also affects the heart and can cause heart failure, affect the respiratory system and create breathing problems and eventually, death.
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As the new crescent moon heralds the holy month of Ramadan, I extend my heartiest wishes to all Muslims in Ghana and the over 1.8 billion adherents of the faith across the world.
The Eid is a period that brings together families, communities and indeed, the entire nation for contemplation and the observance of pious prayer to the Almighty.
It enjoins us to reflect on the mercies of Allah, to forgive one another, and be compassionate and serviceable to each other.
I am proud to have observed over the years that our nation derives her strength from our unity in diversity.
This uniquely Ghanaian identity the world has come to appreciate finds expression in the peaceful and joyous manner in which people of different faiths join hands with our Muslim brothers and sisters to actively participate in Ramadan.
This is why we must do all that we can to remain united with a shared purpose aimed solely at the attainment of our nation’s progress.
It means looking out to guard against people who profit from dividing us; it means guarding against self-centered politicians whose utterances highlight our differences rather than what we have in common as a people; it means protecting our young people from militant and terror groups who through fake religious teachings may indoctrinate and recruit our youth to commit crimes.
Just as Ramadan epitomises endurance, discipline and moral uprightness, let us as adults, opinion leaders and religious leaders, take the responsibility to inculcate these values in our youth.
Reports of HIV & AIDS infection cases and the recent, not unconnected, surge of Tramadol abuse – what some have termed the ‘silent ebola,’ – among the youth should be a matter of concern to all.
Therefore as we pray, let us also commit to working harder on counselling our young people about their life choices and also provide treatment support for all who may be in need.
May Allah accept our humble supplications and May He visit prosperity on our land.”