People’s help sought to implement tobacco control laws

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Seminar series initiated by health services MCI/CDA

As part of the healthy city program, a seminar series is initiated by the directorate of health services MCI / CDA on 26th February 2020 at Islamabad club. Dr. Hassan Orooj director general health while talking to press on the occasion mentioned that we had registered Islamabad in the WHO healthy city network.

It is a matter of pride that among very few cities in the world, Islamabad is also registered. This seminar is a part of major component of partnership building and awareness creation among and with the inhabitants of Islamabad, said DG health.

The seminar was attended by a much diversified community members comprising of specialist doctors, general physicians, representatives of civil society organization, administrators of housing societies, hospital representative and community activists.

Welcoming the audience Dr. Orooj mentioned that the aim of this seminar series is to build more links with communities and translate policies into actions at the grass root level. DG health mentioned that our basic issue is implementation and through this forum DHS will be able to develop a long lasting bond with departments and the communities in the street. This will bring “REAL CHANGE”.

Dr. Iqbal Afridi Director Health services while discussing the objectives mentioned that three main areas will be the focus today. One developing public private partnership for EPI coverage dengue control. Second tobacco free Islamabad as part of healthy city program. Thirdly how medical fraternity can join at a forum for mutual welfare and countries benefit.

Thereafter two presentations were made. Dr. Shahnaz Khalid additional director DHS shared the vaccine preventable diseases coverage and the role of the public private partnership in strengthening outreach services reaching every child to get 100% coverage in Islamabad.

DG Health Dr. Hassan Orooj made a comprehensive presentation on Tobacco prevention and control as part of healthy city. He mentioned about the cancer causing effects of Tobacco for mouth, tongue, lungs, stomach, reproductive system, heart and stroke. 22 Million Population smoke in Pakistan where 32% are men and 6% female smokers. The deleterious effect of sheesha is hundred times more than cigarette. E-Cigarette has been a new addition for lungs cancer. Cigarette companies find new ways and means to attract adults and youth. New form of naswar has been flavored and nicotine has been made more deleterious. Second hand smoke which pollutes people who do not smoke but are exposed to smoker friend or environment is equally rather more dangerous.

Dr. Orooj mentioned that Islamabad is performing well as regards to tobacco laws but with the growing population, new methods introduced by the cigarette industry, low taxes and lack of proper guidance for youth, the cigarette menace may grow rapidly if not checked. He appealed to the community activist, society administrators to raise awareness and help the directorate of health in implementation of tobacco control laws.

One of the core issues on the sale of tobacco is less taxation on tobacco/cigarette. So he flagged the issue for consideration for FBR and the prime minister to raise as many taxes as possible.

The presentations were followed by group discussions. Groups shared strategies on how to work together for:

a) Vaccination outreach through public private partnership.

b) Dengue control measures in private societies.

c) Future of medical fraternity to contribute to the issues of medical Doctors, policy inputs, welfare of patients and countries economy.

The participants ambitiously participated in the discussion and mentioned their roles in various dimensions towards achieving Islamabad healthy city status seminar ended with the vote of thanks.

Dr. Iftikhar Barni said the for real work we need to get together.

Dr. Samra Mazhar Director MoNHSRC and Project Director Tobacco Control at the end stressed upon the importance of awareness creation and counselling of the public through partnership. She said that the quality if presentation s were high and thanked the Directorate if Health and the DG for organizing the Seminar for vital issues and as a road Map for the Healthy City Programe.

 

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