Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

List of World No Tobacco Day awardees - 2006

AFRO nominations

1. Dr Pascal BOVET , Head of Unit, Unit for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease, Section of Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Dr Pascal Bovet has been a leading actor in tobacco control in Seychelles for nearly 20 years. He has been a key player in establishing a Unit for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease within the Ministry of Health in the Seychelles as early as 1988 and has been heading this unit subsequently.

The early establishment within the Ministry of a Unit dedicated to combat the upswing of the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases expressed a visionary early understanding by the health authorities of the growing importance of noncommunicable diseases in a developing country. The Unit initiated and sustained surveillance, prevention and research activities, which, in time, has been relayed by other units and sectors.

Over the years, the Unit in general, and Dr Bovet in particular, have been recognized as a focal point for tobacco control in the country. Dr Bovet has lead the conduct of national population surveys in 1989, 1994 and 2004, as well as a Global Youth Tobacco Survey in youth in 2002, which allowed researchers to precisely assess the situation and trends on tobacco use in the country. Dr Bovet was largely involved for more than a decade, together with his colleagues, in numerous educational programs on the local radio and TV. Dr Bovet, together with colleagues, was also importantly involved in the design and conduct of high profile nationwide activities for World No Tobacco Days. Dr Bovet and his collaborators organized, with the support of the WHO, a cessation smoking program within the Ministry of Health. This included a formal evaluation of nicotine replacement therapy, the results of which will be presented at this year’s Conference on Tobacco or Health in Washington.

Dr Bovet has actively represented the Seychelles government at all intergovernmental negotiating meetings related to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. His active role in the WHO FCTC negotiations materialized when Seychelles was first in the African region to ratify the treaty. Dr Bovet is the chair of the multisectoral National Tobacco Control Committee and he has played a major role in preparing a comprehensive bill on tobacco control, together with national and international experts. A final version has been agreed upon, which matches highest standards in the field and full compatibility with the WHO FCTC.

The bill further concretizes long-standing stringent government policies on tobacco control (e.g., total ban on tobacco advertising). In this context, activities for World No Tobacco Day 2006 will include extensive awareness programs on the need for and content of tobacco legislation, both through numerous radio and TV programs and through dozens of interactive presentations among a broad variety of governmental, nongovernmental and civil organizations.

All the above efforts are strongly linked to the substantial decrease in the prevalence of smoking observed between 1989 and 2004 that could curb the burden of tobacco-related diseases.

2. The International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), Gambia

The International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), The Gambia branch, has been in the forefront in the fight against smoking and drug use among young people in The Gambia. In 1999, the organization launched a comprehensive nationwide sensitization campaign against smoking in schools and rural youth Kafos (groups) through the creation of IOGT clubs and Study Groups in primary, middle and senior secondary schools, with 50 schools presently participating in the programme. IOGT provided initial training to improve the capacity of the clubs to conduct successful anti-tobacco campaigns. This year, IOGT is planning to launch a nationwide inter-school competition on non-smoking.

IOGT has celebrated World No Tobacco Day several times using their own resources and through the mobilization of youth clubs throughout the country, and has also conducted several seminars on smoking to which WHO, health department and other partners were invited to participate. It has sponsored 5 teams (in the Upper River and Central River Divisions) to participate in the 2005 nationwide Nawetan (rainy season) football tournament. IOGT used a health promotion approach to tackle smoking by forging partnership and using a setting’s approach strategy. The initiative IOGT has taken will go a long way in promoting, strengthening and sustaining the anti-tobacco campaign/crusade in The Gambia.

3. Docteur BATALA-MPONDO Georges, Directeur Exécutif de l'Association Congolais pour la Santé Publique et Communautaire, Congo.

Le Docteur Batala-Mpondo mérite le prix pour avoir informé régulièrement nos institutions (Gouvernement Assemblée Sénat) sur l'importance de l'adoption de la loi autorisant la ratification de la convention cadre de l'OMS de la lutte antitabac (CCLAT).

Activités spécifiques à la lutte contre le Tabac :

4. Philip Karugaba, Uganda

Phillip Karugaba is the spokesperson of The Environmental Action Network (TEAN). He has served on the Board of Directors of the Framework Convention Alliance and is a member of the International Committee for the World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2006. He has spoken at the previous two World Conferences and several other tobacco control meetings, sharing Uganda’s experience on tobacco control. He also handled a WHO assignment to draft tobacco control legislation for Botswana and has made input in draft legislation for Kenya and Uganda. Mr. Karugaba is an Advocate of the High Court and a partner in a commercial law practice in Uganda. He has acted for TEAN in its public interest litigation

TEAN is a public interest litigation group working in the area of tobacco control with a mission: “those who choose to smoke should be discouraged, those who choose not to smoke should be protected from exposure to tobacco smoke pollution, those who wish to quit should be supported, and our environment should be protected from hazards of tobacco growing.”

TEAN’s current activities include lobbying for the ratification and implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, lobbying for the adoption of new standard warning labels, lobbying for smoke free public places. It was out of a case filed by TEAN that Court orders were issued banning smoking in public places and directing the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to put in place regulations banning smoking in public places. The Regulations were gazetted in March 2004. A similar action seeking orders for stronger warning labels on cigarette packets was dismissed by the Court. However the consequent publicity helped foster negotiations with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards on the subject.

TEAN is a member of the Framework Convention Alliance, a worldwide coalition of 150 plus non-governmental organizations that work on the WHO sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In this capacity, TEAN participated in negotiation meetings of the Inter-Governmental Negotiating Body on the WHO FCTC. TEAN contributed a clause on protection of the environment from the hazards of tobacco growing.

TEAN is also part of the Global Partnerships Programme. This Programme partners tobacco control organizations in the developing countries with those in the developed world to do joint tobacco control activities. TEAN was paired up with Polaris Research and Development of San Francisco, California, USA. Polaris has been very instrumental in providing material for the advocacy work.

TEAN is also the Uganda contact point for the International Agency on Tobacco on Health (IATH), and a member of Globalink, the electronic tobacco control network.

5. Pr WALINJON Muna, Cancérologue, Professeur à la Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences Biomédicales de Yaoundé, Cameroun

Professeur Walinjon est aussi le Président de la Ligue Africaine de Lutte contre le tabagisme, et le Président du groupe d’Experts sur le Tabagisme au Cameroun.

A la tête de ce Groupe d’Experts, il aura été assez instrumental cette année pour la ratification de la Convention-cadre de lutte antitabac. De même, sous sa conduite, le Groupe est en train de traduire la Convention-cadre dans la législation du pays à travers un certain nombre de projets de lois déjà initiés.

6. Dr MAIZOUMBOU DAN AOUTA, Faculté des Sciences de la santé - Université AbdouMoumouni, Niamey, Niger

Dr Maizoumbou, pneumologue de renom au Niger a fait des actions suivantes: Directeur de plusieurs thèses et mémoires sur le tabac, animation de conférences, colloques, fora importants sur le tabac au niveau du pays. Appui aux journées mondiales sans tabac. De nombreux fumeurs ont cessé, suite à ses conseils.