Health: ATCA Secretary calls for support for WHO efforts

In a statement made public on Thursday March 7, 2022, Léonce SESSOU, Executive Secretary of the Alliance for Tobacco Control in Africa (ACTA), challenges all social strata on the ravages of smoking. A statement made on the occasion of World Health Day 2022. Here is the full statement.

ACTA Secretary General launches a message in support of the WHO

On this year’s World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) asks whether we can reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are accessible to all ; a world where economies are driven by health and well-being; a world where cities are livable and where people are in control of their health and that of the planet. These questions are quite relevant considering that the world has yet to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which adds worryingly to the plethora of major issues such as industrial air pollution. and poor waste management, all of which have significant impacts on human health and the environment.

World Health Day 2022 provides an opportunity to reflect on the need to scale up action to ensure a healthy planet. The WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths worldwide each year are due to preventable environmental causes. We already know that tobacco is the main cause of diseases like cancer, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, with more than 8 million deaths worldwide.

Working towards a tobacco-free world will certainly contribute to achieving the WHO goal of a healthy planet. Tobacco is the risk factor for many diseases and health disorders. Its cultivation, processing and consumption have disastrous consequences on the environment and, ultimately, on our health. We must redouble our efforts to expose, denounce, counter and isolate the tobacco industry, which has historically greened its reputation and its products through programs such as marketing new products as “green” and funding environmental protection and disaster relief organizations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

As World Health Day is celebrated today under the theme “Our Planet, Our Health”, the Alliance for Tobacco Control in Africa (ACTA) calls on African governments, civil society, the media and all other stakeholders to support WHO’s efforts to preserve a clean and healthy planet. Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) must ensure rapid implementation of the entire treaty. In doing so, we are committed to protecting the world from the devastating effects of tobacco and to ensuring that our planet is in perfect condition for our health.

Our planet is our home. Together, we can achieve good health for all if we strive for a clean, tobacco-free world.

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