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Thursday, May 31, 2012

FG tasked on adoption of no-smoking programmes

In a bid to reduce the ever increasing number of diseases and deaths caused by smoking, doctors under the auspices of the World Association of Family Doctors(WONCA) have charged the government at all levels to adopt preventive comprehensive health education programmes on smoking cessation and control.

The Africa Regional President, WONCA Dr Sylvester Osinowo gave this charge recently  in Lagos at commemoration of the 2012 WONCA World Family Doctor day with the theme "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 stated that smoking placed the heaviest burden of morbidity and mortality on Nigerians compared to any other risk factor.
He added that the estimated death rate of 4.9m people in 1999 was expected to rise to 10million by 2020, out of which would affect 7 million people in developing countries including Nigeria.
Osinowo, who emphasised that smoking caused coronary heart diseases, cancer and reduction in fertility for women, added that it also posed adverse social, economic and developmental effects on 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. WHO cancer agency also indicates that smoking has been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. The economic burden includes direct medical care cost for tobacco-induced illnesses, absence from work, reduction in productivity and death”, he said.
The President, therefore recommended that a preventive comprehensive health education program on smoking cessation and control be adopted by government at all levels.
He also suggested that anti-smoking clinics be established in the PHCs and sickbay of colleges and tertiary institutions to rehabilitate those who were already enmeshed  in the habit.
Osinowo also appealed to family physicians and general medical practitioners disengage themselves from habits such as smoking so as to be good role models for the society to follow.
In his speech, the National President of the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria(AGPMPN), Dr Anthony Omolola said that preventive healthcare through annual check up by a doctor was the best healthy living strategy.
Omolola added that eating right, physical fitness, emotional wellness as well as spiritual wellness were smart health choices which should be taken for now and the future.