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ANCE-Togo advocates for budget allocation to control tobacco in Togo

Every year the budget allocated for Tobacco Control (TC) in Togo is very low and poses a serious obstacle for this fight and compromises the achievement of target objective in the national strategy of TC (2016-2020). In this context, ANCE-Togo and the National Program for TC jointly advocate for allocation of TC budget increase in 2017.

Even if Togo is said to be good student in the implementation of WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the fight against tobacco in Africa, the low budget allocated for National program for tobacco control poses an obstacle for the achievement of expected results, despite the goodwill and the dynamism of ANCE-Togo TC team. Tobacco Control needs the mobilization of important financial resources and must be supported every year by the Togo government through budget allocation because smoking is risk factor of six over eight Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Indeed, according to WHO smoking causes more than six million death globally every year among which more than six hundred death comes from second hand smoking. Tobacco smoking contains more than 4,000 chemical substances including nicotine, irritants, toxic products (carbon monoxide etc.) and more than 50 substances that may cause cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and Cerebrovascular accident or strokes. The prevalence rate of tobacco use in Togo is 8.5% representing 600,000 citizens who smoke tobacco or it derivative products.

This advocacy aimed at making Togo government realize that there is an urgent need to allocate important budget to support tobacco Control in order to guarantee a better life to all Togolese.

ANCE-Togo sent and followed up many letters to government officials playing a capital role in annual budget allocation. Among these officials there are the Prime Minister, the Minister of Economic and Finance, the official of budget unit of the Ministry of Economic and Finance and the Member of Parliament. The content of the letters presents detailed information on the consequences of tobacco use and the need for Togo government to allocate a budget to support TC in Togo.

According to Mr. ODJI K. Clément, head of Health Department at ANCE-Togo, this annual advocacy come at the right moment but he regret with indignation that often the budget allocated by the government to fight against NCDs including TC is very low and can’t allow the achievement of the target objectives. Therefore, he urges Togo government namely Members of Parliaments who are currently studying 2017 budget, to increase NCDs budget for an efficient fight against tobacco in 2017.

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