31 May 2017, Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana: Botswana commemorated World No Tobacco Day in the copper mining town of Selebi-Phikwe. The commemoration was headlined by the Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable Phillip Makgalemele, who pleaded with the public to monitor and curb the impact of tobacco on their health, income and social life.
He assured the country that the process of approving the new Tobacco Control legislation is in motion as the Bill is expected in parliament during the winter sitting. He advised the public to keep their parliamentarians and service providers on their toes with regard to tobacco control. This was in part, a response to the Executive Director of the Anti-tobacco Network who had asked the Minister to ensure that the Bill reaches parliament and becomes law as it was long overdue.
Earlier the WHO Representative Dr Martins Ovberedjo had provided a brief overview of the tobacco situation globally and in the African Continent. He decried the toll tobacco in its different forms took on the health and lives of people particularly the poor. He cited the health, social, economic and environmental impact of tobacco on not only consumers but families, communities and national economies as well. He iterated that WHO has the necessary tools to support country efforts on tobacco control such as the FCTC and mpower package. Dr Ovberedjo assured the government of continued UN support on tobacco control efforts.
The commemoration was attended by the Selebi-Phikwe community, representatives of District Health management teams from across the country, civil society, political and religious leadership from the district and various stakeholders who provided information through person to person communication, edutainment and information stalls.
For further information please contact :
Mr Moagi Gaborone ( gaboronem [at] who.int), NPO/HIP, GPN: 36007