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Five-day India Tobacco Control Leadership Programme kicks off tomorrow in Goa

Panaji:Over 75 participants, including health and policy-making experts from India and abroad, have gathered in South Goa as part of a national tobacco-control leadership programme that starts tomorrow.

The five-day programme aimed at effective implementation of laws that seek to curb consumption of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

India Tobacco Control Leadership Program , helmed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), part of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, will also see participation of senior officials from the Health Ministry, Labour Ministry, besides other stakeholders.

Stephen Tamplin, Associate Scientist, Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the JHSPH said, the programme is part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, and implemented through the Johns Hopkins University of the US.

“We have done global tobacco control leadership programs before in the US, in which India had also participated. But, now, the focus is more on region and country-specific programs that allow for more emphasis on locally relevant tobacco control policy issues, as well as other relevant public health policy issues, he said.

This is the second such leadership programme being held in India, the first one was held a few years ago in Delhi. The program, hosted at a resort in South Goa’s Majorda village, about 30 km from here, ends on August 10.

“About 75 people are participating in the programme, including officials from the health ministry and other related domains. A few experts from India and abroad would also be sharing their knowledge with the delegates. Besides, the JHSPH, experts from WHO, and Paris-based International Union against Lung Disease and Tuberculosis (The Union) would also be interacting with them,” Tamplin told PTI.

The JHU faculty member said, the delegates arrived today and were registered for the event, adding, formal sessions will begin from tomorrow.

“The regional tobacco control leadership programme aims to develop and enhance leadership in countries experiencing the greatest burden of disease and death from tobacco use by building capacity to develop, implement and enforce effective tobacco control policy interventions, he said.

There are laws in various countries but how effectively they are implemented is the question. And, therefore this program seeks to enhance leadership skills to affect policy development and implementation, and delineate leadership principles and their relevance in addressing country specific tobacco control issues and challenges, Tamplin said.

It also seeks to strengthen skills in policy intervention development and implementation and strategic communication; and engage with and enhance collaboration and networking among a wide range of partners in the tobacco control movement, he added.

Over 11 per cent of 6.4 million deaths worldwide was caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 per cent of them took place in China, India, the US, and Russia, according to the estimates in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study published in medical journal The Lancet, last year

Source: PTI, By Kunal Dutt Panaji

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