Sub-regional confab on NCDs opens in Banjul
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A sub-regional meeting on Harmonising Integrated Non-Communication Diseases Action Plan for Resource Mobilisation and Implementation in the West African region opened Tuesday at the Senegambia Beach Hotel. The two-day Banjul meeting brought together delegates from The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Cameroon.
Declaring the meeting open, Fatim Badjie, the minister of Health and Social Welfare said that the harmonisation of integrated NCD Action Plan for resource mobilisation and implementation will certainly facilitate effective coordination of the implementation of cost-effective and sustainable strategies in the prevention and control of NCDs in the West African region.
According to her, the World Health Organisation report 2011 indicated that NCDs account for 36 million deaths annually while more than 63 percent of all deaths worldwide such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are the most common causes of mortality and poor health.
Minister Badjie told the gathering that The Gambia has been and is still mindful of and committed to tackling the NCDs challenges in the country. She said that The Gambia has taken significant steps to tackle NCDs, and has also legislated against public smoking through the enactment in 1998 of the Prohibition of Smoking (Public Place) Act.
minister further noted that The Gambia also unconditionally ratified the World
Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2007 and
currently with the WHO Gambia Office there are plans to develop a National
Tobacco Control Strategy.
the government of The Gambia through the president’s back-to-the-land
initiative is promoting the cultivation and consumption of home grown foods to
reduce the prevalence of unhealthy diet adding that this clarion call has
generated interest among the Gambian populace and has overall improved food
security among communities.
She further informed the gathering that The Gambia has banned tobacco advertisement in the mass media through the 2003 Anti-Tobacco Advertisement Bill and that the country at the moment has finalised and endorsed a five-year integrated policy and action plan for NCDs prevention and control.
For his part, Dr Thomas Sukwa, the WHO representative in The Gambia said the meeting will provide the opportunity to think together and improve the key interventions in addressing NCDs prevention and control and join collaborative commitment among countries and partners towards implementing interventions including primary health care.
Keita, a representative of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) said
their interventions focus mainly on harmonisation, coordination,
monitoring/evaluation and facilitating the mobilisation of additional resources
in member states.
According to him, in terms of harmonisation and coordination of national NCDs control programmes, several countries in the region were provided with items of technical and financial support to carry out STEP surveys, develop policies and integrated NCD prevention and control action plans. These countries he said are Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo.
He stated their unshakable determination to participating actively in transforming into action all international commitments and statements relating to BCDs control, namely the Brazzaville Declaration in April 2011, the Political Declaration of the high-level meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs in September 2011.
“WAHO is confident that the outcomes of this meeting will enable not only countries represented here, but also targeted technical and financial partners, to commit themselves to implementing various resources mobilisation plans to prevent and overcome the harmful effects of NCDs,” he added.
Author: Momodou Faal