Ghana’s government has developed a five-year National Tobacco Control Strategy (NTCS) with a goal of decreasing the consumption rate of tobacco in the country, reports The Ghanaian Times. The end goal of the NTCS is to eradicate all tobacco usage.
The Ministry of Health, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program put the strategy plan together along with advocate policymakers on tobacco control.
According to Baffour Awuah, acting director of the Technical Coordination Directorate of the Ministry of Health, cardiovascular disease rates due to increased smoking are rising.
“The strategy we are launching today is the climax of extensive collaboration, research and commitment by various stakeholders, experts and civil society,” Awuah said. “Its purpose is to guide us in combatting the devastating effects of tobacco use, both in terms of health and the economy.
“It aims to ensure effective coordination among agencies involved in tobacco control, setting clear goals and adopting strategic timelines.”
Awuah encouraged stakeholders to actively engage in discussions to help transform the document into tangible action.
Olivia Boateng, director in charge of tobacco and substance abuse at the FDA, stated that illicit trade in tobacco products has made them more accessible at lower prices. The country has made progress in tobacco control policies, but the illicit trade has “amplified the tobacco epidemic,” according to Boateng.
Stakeholders will be trained on the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products in the country once the NTCS is implemented, according to Boateng.