Preamble The Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) which unites all Catholic medical doctors and dental surgeons in the country held its 14th annual scientific conference and general meeting on July 5-7, 2019 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos. The theme of the conference was “Effects of Drug Addiction on Integral Human Development.” 

The two day conference was declared open by His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, represented by Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan. Other dignitaries included representative of the permanent secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health (Dr. Titilayo Goncalves), HRH Erelu Abiola Dosunmu (Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos), members of the board of trustees of the ACMPN, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (Dr. Francis Faduyile), ACMPN National Chaplain and Rev Sister Adviser as well as President of the Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students. Veteran media practitioner – Mr. Sunny Irabor – chaired the opening ceremony, while Dr. Emeka Ogbolu (Consultant Psychiatrist) delivered the keynote paper. Dr. Wale Ige represented the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos. Seventy delegates from 15 states represented dioceses across the country. 

Communiqué The Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) hereby presents the following communiqué, that:

1. Drug addiction and substance abuse is a raging epidemic ravaging Nigerians of all ages including pupils and students of primary, secondary and higher institutions of learning; the increasing crime rates and criminality across the nation are directly or indirectly linked to this menace.

2. Drug addiction has multidimensional effects on the family and society at large. The upsurge in suicide amongst Nigerians is also fueled by drug addiction and substance abuse; the impact that addiction can have on integral human development is that life can become meaningless and suicide an attractive option for the victims.

3. Medical practitioners and all Nigerians especially parents should join hands to stop the abuse of drugs through targeted education and close relationship with their children and wards.

4. All Nigerians are called upon to step up the fight against drug abuse in order to arrest its personal and public health burden. The stabilizing effects of the family on the mental health of children are enormous. Accordingly, the family should be a pillar of support: parents are to encourage, affirm, appreciate and reward their children appropriately.

5. Drug abusers stand in need of compassion and humane care. Stigma and discrimination are not Christian attitudes towards them as such could exacerbate their already-challenged mental health status.

6. Catholic doctors are strongly encouraged and expected to be firmly grounded in the teachings of the Church on matters of medical bioethics in the face of technological progress which may promote practices that are contrary to moral law.

7. Catholic doctors and other health workers need to become educated on the pro-life culture and the family planning methods thereof, also known as Fertility-Based Awareness Methods, including NaProTechnology (Natural Procreative Technology). Major Catholic health facilities are to become centres of excellence for training, research and service provision in this unique area of holistic women (and family) health care.

8. Women and men are equal but different. The neurobiology of gender shows the differences in the neural patterns and ways of reasoning in males and females. This cutting-edge research finding provides scientific evidence for the position of the Catholic Church on the complementarity of the two sexes, a knowledge which should enlighten persons who may be confused in the face of postmodern understanding of gender equity.

9. Medical professionals are encouraged to look at health from a wellness perspective – to reflect the interrelatedness of spirituality, mindset, nutrition, lifestyle and environment on people’s health and wellness.

10. In order to achieve Universal Health Coverage, episodic release of policies is not enough; the need for adequate monitoring and evaluation to ensure implementation of the policies cannot be overemphasized. Also, functional health insurance should be promoted for every Nigerian.

11. The government is hereby called upon to urgently address the dangers posed by brain drain as it affects the medical profession in Nigeria. The emigration in droves of the country’s highly skilled professionals is an urgent national health and security issue.

12. The Federal Government should strengthen relevant agencies like the NDLEA, the Nigerian Police, etc. to prevent, mitigate and fight the menace of drug abuse and addiction 13. The federal and state ministries of health and development partners should fund the services in fertility awareness-based methods and Naprotechnology which have been incorporated into the national family planning training curriculum for health workers in Nigeria, especially as these methods are in sync with the religions and cultures of our peoples.

The Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria expressed gratitude to the archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, the Catholic faithful and the good people of Lagos state for their hospitality. 


Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu National President 

Dated: July 27, 2019