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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Doctors urge FG to adopt smoking cessation programmes

In a bid to reduce the ever in-creasing number of diseases and deaths caused by smok-ing, doctors under the auspices of the World Association of Family Doctors (WONCA) have charged government at all levels to adopt preventive comprehensive health education programmes on smok-ing cessation and control. The Africa Regional President, WONCA, Dr Sylvester Osinowo made this charge in Lagos at the commemoration of the 2012 WONCA World Family Doctor day themed “Healthy Living: The Role of the Family Doctor, Smoking Cessation Among Doctors and in the Community”. Osinowo said that the theme was chosen due to findings that smoking is one of the leading causes of morbidity in Nigerian compared to other risk factors. He added that the estimated death rate of 4.9m people in 1999 is expected to rise to 10m by 2020, out of 7m peoplewould be affected in developing countries including Nigeria. Osinowo who emphasized that smoking caused coronary heart diseases, cancer and reduction in fertility for women, added that it also posed adverse social, econom-ic and developmental effects in the lives of individuals, their families and the community at large.

“Tobacco consumption causes multiple health risks as cigarette smokers are 2.4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-smokers.“W.H.O cancer agency also indicates that smoking has been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancer cases.“

The economic burden in-cludes direct medical care cost for tobacco-induced illnesses, absence from work, reduction in productivity and death.”he said.

He added that the primary health care centers being the near-est to the people should be empow-ered to do “push” programmes with vigour to catch the youths before they adopt the “severe haz-ardous-to-health- habit”.

He also suggested that anti-smoking clinics be established in Primary Health Centres and sick bays of colleges and tertiary institutions to rehabilitate those who are already enmeshed in the habit.

Osinowo however appealed to family physicians and general medical practitioners to as well disengage themselves from hab-its such as smoking in order to be good role models for the society.

In his speech, the National President of the Association of General Private Medical Practi-tioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr Anthony Omolola said that preventive health care through annual check up by a doctor re-mains the best healthy living strategy.

Omolola added that the im-portance of a family doctor in a patient’s life could not be over emphasized as they are the ones who are close to the patient, have a personal relationship with him thereby making it easier to treat him or her.