The Ministry of Health and Social welfare in collaboration with the World Health Origination (WHO) and RAID-The Gambia yesterday briefed the media about the celebrations and the launching of the Tobacco Control Act 2017.
The briefing held at the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education in Kotu, was meant for the media to spread the message to the people about upcoming events.
In his statement, Modou Njai, the Director of Health Promotion and Education, described the briefing as very timely to inform the general public about the launching of the Tobacco Control Act 2017, slated for 18 July 2017 in Banjul.
Mr Njai recognizes the efforts of the Health Journalists Association for always responding to their calls and publishing their information the way they want it and on time.
He commended the health ministry and its partners for coming out with the initiative geared towards eliminating the use of tobacco in the country, noting that tobacco is among the most lethal killer diseases in the world.
Sanjally Trawally, deputy director of health promotion, disclosed that they have done a lot of sanitisation through radio stations and also meeting the people to talk to them about the dangers of tobacco.
He challenged the young people to stay away from tobacco, and called on the general public to attend the celebration on 18 July.
Contributing, Sambujang Conteh, the Executive Director of RAID-The Gambia, described the launching of the Tobacco Control Act on 18 July as a very important day for The Gambia.
He said The Gambia was always on top of the list when they talk of tobacco control, as the 2016 Act was the best in West African region.
Mr Conteh challenged the media houses to spread the information to the general public before 18 July 2017 in order to make the day a colorful and successful one in the whole of Africa.
Also speaking, Momodou Gassama, representing the World Health Organization country office, said they are going to witness another milestone as the launching of Tobacco Act in The Gambia is another step taken to eliminate smoking in the country.
He thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and their partners in The Gambia as well as the National Assembly Members for making sure that Tobacco Taxes have been increased.
Gassama assured of WHO commitment to work with the Government of The Gambia in order to reduce the use of tobacco in the Country.
The briefing was chaired by Omar Badjie, program manager of the Non Communicable Disease Unit.