World No Tobacco Day: ANCE & the Ministry of Health in press conference

Under the theme «tobacco – a threat for development », the 2017 World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) was jointly celebrated by the Ministry of health and Social Protection, WHO Togo and ANCE-Togo through a press conference organized on May 31, 2017 targeting journalists. This press conference held in the Ministry of health epidemiology meeting room has known the participation of 25 participants mainly public media (TVT, ATOP, Radio Lomé, Togo presse) and private media (Alternative, Radio Zéphyr and Pyramide FM).

With WHO Togo technical and financial support, the principal objective of activities to mark the commemoration of WNTD was to inform media of the year theme entitled «tobacco – a threat for development ».

The speakers during this conference were Dr. EBEH Fabrice ANCE executive Director, Dr. KUMAKO Vincent, National Program for Tobacco Control Coordinator and Mr. TAMAKLOE Mawuli Gerson from WHO Togo.

According to these speakers, every year tobacco is currently provoking almost 8 million premature deaths globally and it constitute a serious threat for all regardless to sex, age, race, culture and education. It indulges people in suffering, illness and death, impoverish families and weaken national economy. Tobacco cost a lot for the economy due to high cost of health care. Furthermore, tobacco aggravates health disparity and poverty because poor people cannot afford essential needs such as foodstuffs, education and health care. In low and middle income countries as Togo which is facing difficulties to meet sustainable development goals, tobacco causes 80% of premature deaths.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) carried out in 2006 the Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ) in Togo and showed that tobacco affects much rural areas than urbain one. This survey revealed that 91% of rural people in Togo smoke whereas only 9% are smokers in urban areas. The same survey indicates poverty incidence rate which is 61.7% of the population, approximatively 3.24 million people split into 535.686 households.

The press conference was ended after questions and answers. Speakers recommend to journalists to convey the information nationwide through their publications.