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Validation workshop on tobacco control held

May 3, 2012, 1:59 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

A one-day validation workshop on tobacco control baseline survey and action plan for 2012-2015 ended recently at the President International Award, Bakau.

The event was organized by RAID-The Gambia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), WHO country office and The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS).

Declaring the validation workshop open, the director of RAID-The Gambia, Sambujang Conteh, said his agency was established in 1993 with the objective of raising awareness of young people on harms associated to drug and substance abuse and prepared them to be responsible future leaders.

“Our outreach has revealed that all the drug users in The Gambia start by smoking cigarettes; that is why our agency works very closely with young people to minimize the tobacco-related illnesses,” he said.

He called on the attention of the participants to notify them that the National Assembly rectified FCTC on 5 June 2007 without any amendment.

Noting that lots of consultation has been made but with the cooperation of the Ministry of Health, WHO, GBoS and other stakeholders, the validation research finding and action plan for The Gambia tobacco control from 2012-2015 would boost their campaign.

He hailed the support from the American Cancer Society through the ATCC, whose role is to mobilize the country team to come up with a comprehensive tobacco control policies and action plan which can be achievable and sustainable.

“You are aware that tobacco claims more than 5 million lives every year of which The Gambia is not an exception and the issue of tobacco cannot be addressed by government alone; collective action is needed to protect our future leaders,” he said. 

Momodou Bamba Sangia, Development Campaign Coordinator for African Tobacco Control Conium (ATCC) based in Togo - sponsors of the validation workshop, said his organization recognised the commitment of RAID-The Gambia through Samboujang Conteh in fighting tobacco use.

He assured the agency of their continued collaboration and support.

Other speakers at the ceremony included Momodou Gassama from WHO and Yoro Bah from the Ministry of Health.