Cameroon: WHO Gates Project For The Control Of Tobacco Goes Operational In Its Fourth Phase

By Sandrine M.
The fourth phase of the WHO Gates Project for the control of tobacco has been launched in Cameroon.

The ball was officially set rolling yesterday December 9, in Yaounde by a representative of the Minister of Public Health.

The Disease and Prevention Officer in the WHO Office, Dr Douba Epée Emmanuel explained the reason for the project.

“There is an observation that the countries of the world, in this case African countries, are making efforts in the fight against tobacco. But we realize that these efforts are not sufficient to stop the damage caused by smoking. The other observation is the application or implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. We realize that most African countries and the world have already ratified this connection, but in the implementation, there are still many shortcomings. This means that the fight against tobacco has not yet reached the optimal level.”

Dr Douba Epée Emmanuel explaining the project

Dr Atouba added that the presence of the corona virus has intensified the need to control tobacco consumption.

“And now, with Covid-19, we know that diseases or health problems related to smoking especially lung problems, heart problems, chronic respiratory failure, diabetes and all these diseases or health problems account for serious cases of Covid-19. So we understand that there is an urgency to be able to intensify tobacco control.”

The Gates project really hopes to reduce tobacco consumption especially by youth and amongst Cameroonians in general.

“…The objective is to see how to increase the tax on tobacco to discourage consumers. It will reduce consumption and it will also be additional revenue for the state. But now, to do this, there are policies, different laws, the anti-smoking law, which must already be adopted by the National Assembly. There is also, apart from tobacco control, the need to create awareness, to help reduce tobacco consumption and the effects of smoking on the population.”

It is hoped that the project will reduce the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products by 30% by 2025. (WHO recommendation).

It also aims at revitalising the coordinating body for the implementation of tobacco control measures; Strengthen the regulatory framework for tobacco control, reduce the supply of and demand for tobacco and its derivatives by intensifying prohibitions, control and the fight against illicit trade amongst others.

To this effect, the representative of the Minister of Public Health called on the general public to put collective efforts to ensure the fight against tobacco consumption in Cameroon.

“…I wish to call on all of us, the ministries and partners involved to take the fight against tobacco as their personal fight.”

According to statistics contained in a survey carried out by the government of Cameroon in line with the fight against tobacco and related products, 37% of Cameroonians are passive smokers and 66.000 deaths are recorded yearly from tobacco and related infections meanwhile children less than 15 are concerned at 15.2% and it is highest amongst students.

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