By Rohey Jadama
The Gambia will, on the 18 July 2017, launched the Tobacco Control Act 2016(TCA), at the Arch 22 in Banjul and also present ‘World No Tobacco Day awards’ to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the National Assembly of the Gambia respectively.
This information was revealed at a press conference organized by the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education yesterday, 5 July 2017, at their office in Kotu.
According to the organizers, they will do a three (3) months sensitization to popularize and educate people about the TCA Law and in October 2017 they will implement the law.
In his Keynote address, the Director of Health Promotion and Education, Mr Modou Njai, said a big and symbolic event is coming and symbolic in the sense that they are going to receive people outside the Gambia. He said they are going to receive people from Kampala, Makerere University and the Centre for Tobacco control in Africa and that they are expecting people from other countries through the WHO, the WHO Regional office and the WHO country office in the Gambia.
“We have never had an activity where we have outsiders like the WHO and the Center for Tobacco Control, coming to attend the launching of or gracing an activity. We thank WHO for mobilizing the country office as well as the regional office staff,” said the Health Promotion and Education Director.
Mr. Njai said the Act took them five (5) years and that if it wasn’t because of their determination and hard work, they would not have been where they are today.
For his part the Executive Director of RAID the Gambia, Mr. Sambujang Conteh, said 18 July is a very important day for the country; that because if one looks at the history of Tobacco control, Gambia is always at the top.
He said when the FCT was signed by the National Assembly, Gambia was the only country that did a sensitization in the entire country because the ministry of health together with WHO, sub- contracted his agency to go around all the districts to invite communities to come.