Monday, 26 March 2018 12:20

The 17th World Conference on “Tobacco or Health” was held March 7-9 2018 in Cape Town South Africa.

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Mr. Meshack Ndolo from the Health Committee represented the Council of Governors on behalf of H.E. Dr Mohamed Kuti, Governor of Isiolo and Chair of the Health Committee during the 17th world conference on tobacco or health held from 7th-9th march 2018. The conference brought together researchers, academics, non-governmental organizations, civil society, scientists, healthcare professionals and public officials working on all aspects of tobacco control from more than 100 countries.The Conference recognized that Tobacco is a global public health menace and remains the biggest high risk factor in the onset, progress and complications of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country, contributing to nearly 50% of hospital admissions. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) estimates that there are 2.5 million tobacco users in Kenya!
Among the highlights of the conference relevant to Kenya were recognition that:

•Comprehensive policies and laws are necessary to protect non-smokers who are at the highest risk of directly inhaling smoke emitted by smokers

•The Tobacco Act 2007 should be fully effected and Legislation cascaded to County Government level e.g. County Assemblies passing laws to enforce measures to protect the innocent public from the ravaging effects of Tobacco growing and consumption
•Tobacco Industry are aggressive, capricious and are targeting young people through all forms of machinations and social media, promoting e-cigarettes and Shisha, they also target politicians, senior officials, in order to keep their profit pipeline at all costs

Some of the recommendation arising from the Conference include:
1.Completely ban advertising of tobacco and use, since the cost of health risks far outweigh the apparent economic gains
2.High taxation on tobacco growing, manufacturing and production - should be so heavily taxed (even 70%), in order to dissuade and deter people from taking up use of the substance
3.Stakeholders to work with together with the Ministry of Health and the Council of Governors to address immediate, medium to long term solutions through legislation, enforcement, policies, program and community mobilisation approaches.
4.The County Assemblies to consider formulating legislation against Tobacco based on the Model Legislation done by the International Institute for Legislative Affairs
5.There is need to reconsider designated smoking areas in Cities and Counties and eradicate them altogether as they promote smoking and infringe on the rights of non-smokers
6.Counties with Tobacco growing areas begin to plan with the farmers on alternative economic livelihood as Tobacco farming gets eliminated due to its serious public health consequences and poverty on families

During the conference, renown Philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg, who is the WHO Global Ambassador for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) announced winners of the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Tobacco Awards for Global Tobacco Control to celebrate the recipients’ efforts in implementing anti-tobacco policies in low and middle-income countries.

The winners and their respective categories were:
1.Monitoring of tobacco use and prevention policies
a.Winner: Ministry of Health Vietnam
2.Protecting people from tobacco smoke
a.Winner: Fondo Solidario para la Salud (FOSALUD) de El Salvador
3.Offering help to people to quit tobacco use
a.Winner: Fundación Interamericana del Corazón México
4.Warning about the dangers of tobacco
a.Winner: Ministry of Health Senegal
5.Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
a.Winner: Uganda National Health Consumers’ Organization
6.Raising taxes on tobacco
a.Winner: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Treasury Argentina, and FIC (Fundacion Interamericana del Corazon)

Read 246 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 12:37

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