Outcome Of Drug Addiction Essay Competition for Nigerian Secondary Schools
Mustapha S. Shehu
The epidemic of drug addiction in Nigeria has recently come to light. Thousands of young male and female Nigerians are affected, often resulting in death. Moreover, self-prescription of drugs is also a significant problem among Nigerians, which also contributes to drug addiction among people of different age group. Although government agencies are already playing a key role in curbing this epidemic, scientists too have a role to play. Scientists can organise public engagement activities to raise awareness about how drugs affect human physiology. In addition, young students, who are often the victims of drug addiction, can partake in discussions towards the development of a long-term solution.
Thanks to the generous funding from the British Pharmacological Society and support from TReND in Africa we launched a series of activities through radio and media channels aimed at enhancing awareness about the physiology of drug addiction. We also launched a 'Drug Addiction Essay Competition' to engage young Nigerian Secondary School Students to think critically about the problems of drug use and abuse and partake in developing solutions through essays.
Twenty-two (22) Secondary School Students submitted their essays, which were reviewed via a series of stages to ensure originality and they were written by the students. We are excited to announce that the students from the following schools were ranked the top six.
1st Position (83 points), Bakare Zaynab Oluwaseyi, Starways College, Ajah Lagos
2nd Position (78 points), Siyanbola E. Toluwalase, Government Secondary School, Gwagwalada, Abuja
3rd Position (77 points), Emmanghe Favour, Kings and Queens High School, Ikom, Cross River State
4th Position (76 points), Oluwafimidara Oyadeyi, Graceland Heights, Ibadan, Oyo State
5th Position (73 points), Olawunmi Ololade Abigail, Seolad International College, Mowe, Ogun State
6th Position (71 points), Isaac-Thomas Precious Inibehe, Skyop Schools, Abule-egba, Lagos
Science Communication Hub Nigeria has organised outreach activities in each of the schools, awarded personal prizes to the authors of the essays and Carl Zeiss Teaching Microscopes to their schools for science teaching. We are thankful for the generous donation of the microscopes by the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK through TReND in Africa. All the six winning essays will be published shortly.