Drug-prevention program draws praise from police

A drug-prevention program put together by the Philippines/Micronesia Area public affairs office has drawn praise from Philippines law enforcement organizations.

Recently, the Philippines National Police Narcotics Division presented the public affairs office, directed by David Fewster, with an award of recognition for the program, which features an exhibit on health.The award was a plaque with the inscription: "In profound appreciation of your untiring efforts, unwavering support, selfless commitment and active involvement in our group's crusade for a drug-free Philippines."

It was presented by the Philippines national police chief, Director General Recaredo A. Sarmiento. It was accepted by Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy and first counselor in the Philippines/Micronesia Area presidency.

The ceremonies were part of a national law enforcement convention that drew 5,000 police officers. Organizers arranged for the Church to display the exhibit during the convention.

Brother Fewster said: "To receive this award is a great honor. This is a recognition of the great work done by all those involved in the public affairs drug-prevention program here in the Philippines."

He added that the Church has operated the successful drug-awareness campaign for more than a year.

The exhibit provides information about general health and welfare. It includes information on the hazards of nicotine and alcohol as well as illegal drugs. There is also a display about the Word of Wisdom.

Part of the exhibit is a model of a man with visible lungs containing cotton. A machine draws cigarette smoke into the lungs and then pushes it out again. "People can actually see the effects of smoking," Brother Fewster said.

The exhibit is put on display in various communities and has attracted as many as 25,000 visitors in a day, according to Brother Fewster.

Sometimes doctors and nurses are enlisted to do health checks in connection with the exhibits, and missionaries are there to answer questions about the Word of Wisdom and the Church. Brother Fewster said the exhibit has generated hundreds of missionary referrals.