#Article (Archive)

Latrikunda UBS Recieve World Tobacco Day 2009 Award

Jul 21, 2009, 8:38 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Latrikunda Upper Basic School has once again been awarded World No Tobacco Day 2009 for its giant step in the fight against tobacco use at a colourful ceremony held at the school premises located at Latrikunda German just adjacent to Gambian Electrical.

Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Mary Allen, Principal of the school told students and dignitaries that the World No Tobacco Day award is presented each year to outstanding individuals and organisations around the world, noting that is in recognition of their valuable contribution to the global tobacco control motives being spearheaded by the WHO.

This year, Principal Allen noted, her school is one of the six proud awardees in the whole continent of Africa and one of the forty-six awardees in the entire world.

She said WHO has launched a world-wide campaigned aimed at protecting all children from the hazard of smoking, saying that this is why the 'World No-Tobacco Day' is commemorated on the 31st May every year.

According to her, they also have the peer health educators, which advocates for non smoking and against the abuse of drugs.

Mrs. Allen recalled that in 2007, they celebrate the fight against Tobacco in grand style. She revealed that they were recognised by the WHO and the Ministry of Health as a "Smoke free" school.

Speaking on the effects of smoking and the use of illegal drugs, Isatou Mballow a student of Latrikunda Upper Basic School stated that the scenario of smoking is indeed an urgent problem that needs serious attention stressing that students perhaps do not fully grasp the danger involved in smoking.

She implored all authorities concern, government and all others stakeholders to be constantly vigilant and take bold steps to help in alleviating the problem before it get out of hands.

She stated that if youths are not adequately sensitised and counseled, they take other dangerous and illicit drugs that may eventually lead to death.

"Don't you know that smoking particularly causes disease relating to tuberculosis and cancer. It also causes heart attack, cancer of the skin, cancer of the hair, eye problem, hearing problem, stomach ulcer and many other killer diseases", she said.

Isatou Jallow further explained that many smokers also developed serious shortness of breath, stating that the fumes that comes out of the cigarette pollutes the atmosphere and contribute in destroying the layer that protect us from the scouring heat of the sun.

She noted that a youth who is hardened to smoking may easily take up hard drug because the cigarette will not be strong enough to satisfy his/her appetite in a long term.

She emphasised that most students who engage in smoking and drugs eventually become drop outs and continue robbing just to buy drugs.