Title: Capacity Building for Tobacco Cessation to Improve Tuberculosis Treatment Outcomes in Uganda
A competent needs-based health workforce, aligned to local priorities is essential to addressing the increasing Non-Communicable Diseases in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as Uganda. Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), pioneer a training for health professionals on integrating tobacco cessation services into TB services in Kampala, Uganda. The training is premised on a research Project on Integrating Tobacco cessation into TB Programs using mHealth Solutions funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Activities have tasked government to prosecute cigarette dealers, who do not comply with the tobacco law.
The law came into force last week, after the Constitutional Court blocked a move by the British American Tobacco (BAT) to temporarily halt government’s implementation of the Tobacco Control Act 2015.
Speaking to journalists during a press conference in Kampala, Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi, the national tobacco control focal person in the health ministry also warned the Police against soliciting bribes from cigarette dealers, saying they also risk prosecution.
“If Police connives with those people and refuse to arraign them in court, they will also face prosecution because they would be derailing the law,” she said.
She said Government spends over sh1.8b in treating tobacco- related diseases every year.
“The cost of treating a patient with tobacco-related cancer is at a minimum of sh6m, as the cost of chemotherapy for six cycles which can escalate in the event that it recurs even to the second consumer,” Ndyanabangi said.
Source: New Vision Uganda.
Tobacco control activists led by the head of mental health division in the ministry of health and the focus spokes person of Tobacco Control Uganda, Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi have committed to drag the executive director of Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) Richard Jabo to court, in case he fails to revoke the agreement giving out land measuring two hectares of land to Nilus Limited in Jinja district to enable it set up a 11 millon US dollar tobacco industry.
Dr. Ndyanabangi said that the Center for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), the Tobacco advocates legal arm is to first write a legal opinion to the Executive Director of UFZA Richard Jabo, interesting him on how he awarded the land illegal since his action contravenes the Tobacco Control Act 2015 which prohibits any public servant from conniving with people in the tobacco industry or giving or receiving any incentive from the tobacco industry.
“Uganda free zone authority’ agreement with that tobacco company is null and void whether they did it knowingly or ignorantly. We shall first write a legal opinion to them, instructing them to withdraw the contract in addition to publishing it in press and once they fail to comply then we shall have no option other than prosecuting the Executive director individually since the law criminalize the organisation head not the organisation ” Said Ndyanabangi.
It should be noted that UFZA has been added to Ministry of trade, industries and cooperatives which also contravened the same act by declaring 2017 a tobacco growing year.
Tobacco control advocates emphasis that in case the two fail to abide by their legal opinions, they will be no other option other than prosecuting them.
The Tobacco control act 2015 was assented to by president Yoweri Kagutta Museveni on the 19th of August 2015 and came into force on the 19 may of 2016 but it was given a grace period of one year to be fully implemented, which ended on 18th May 2017.
The act banned favored tobacco like Shisha, kuber and electronic cigarette, bans smoking in public places, advertising of tobacco products, refrains any public official from dealing in whatever way with the tobacco industry and once found guilty is liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings, imprisonment not less than a year or serve both punishments.
The warning comes at a time when over 180 countries globally have adopted a similar law and when preparations for Uganda to join the rest of the world in commemoration of the world no tobacco day due every 31 of May are in high gear with this year’s theme being Tobacco affecting development.
Title: BAT Uganda loses court case as the TC Act 2015 becomes fully operational
Following a petition filed by BAT Uganda seeking a temporary injunction on the implementation of tobacco control act 2015, the Constitutional Court has dismissed the application saying that the injunction has no justifiable grounds. The ruling was made on May 18, 2017, a day before the TC Act fully becomes operational.
Title: BAT Uganda sues Uganda Government over the Tobacco Control Act, 2015
Kampala, May 10, 2017
The Constitutional Court in Kampala today heard a petition filed by BAT Uganda against the Government of Uganda challenging the constitutionality of the Tobacco Control Act 2015. Court also heard another plea by BAT Uganda seeking a temporary injunction on the implementation of tobacco control activities, pending disposal of the petition.
Title: Drs. Mamudu and Pack Funded for Tobacco/Tuberculosis Project in Uganda
Dr. Hadii Mamudu, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services Management and Policy and Dr. Robert Pack, Professor and Associate Dean in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, have been awarded a Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Academy of Sciences, a private non-profit organization of the country’s leading researchers. Read More
Title: MakSPH-CTCA yet in another novel research project
A novel research project on integrating tobacco cessation into TB programs using mHealth approach has been inaugurated by MakSPH, CTCA and Ministry of Health Uganda with the aim of improving TB treatment outcomes and increasing quit rates among TB patients in Uganda. The research project code named mHealth for TB Tobacco: An Approach to reduce tobacco use among TB patients.
After undergoing Tobacco Control Law Implementation training, Uganda Police has been carrying out raids in public places where banned products like Shisha are being sold and used.
On Friday evening from 7pm to 1am Uganda Police Force took out an operation against ignore tobacco product in the Kampala Center region.
Place like Arua park had 7 people arrested and a number of shisha pots confiscated, while Shade Bar and Restaurant had all it’s shisha users arrested. Laftaz Comedy Lounge in Centenary Park had its 41 shisha pots impounded, and Kyoto Turkish Restaurant & Bar also in Centenary Park had 34 pots and delivery systems confiscated by the police. Zone7 in Bugolobi was the only one found with no banned products like shisha but Mugiez Corporate Zone Reloaded or Mugiez Corporate ZONE, shisha pots and their delivery systems were hidden and out of use. The manager of the bar said that they had stopped selling shisha and kept the pots after they had about the arrests. He lead the Police DPC heading the operation to the story where they were hidden. There were 7 pots and their delivery systems, which the police confiscated.
This was the third raid by police implementing the Tobacco Control Law. The first one was in Mukono town, second on Acacia Avenue.
The DPC commented and said that some entertainment places in Kampala central were no longer dealing in shisha, and this is a great thing because people are promoting and implementing the Tobacco Control Law.
Title: Mauritania Legislators commit to passing a comprehensive tobacco control law
Nouakchott; March, 24, 2017
Members of Parliament in Mauritania are convening in the capital of Nouakchott to review the country’s tobacco control status and discuss strategies for controlling the effects of tobacco use.
In an advocacy meeting by CTCA, the members were informed that passing a comprehensive tobacco control legislation provides a conducive framework for implementing all the proven interventions, thus making it a critical step.
Title: Steering Committee unanimously endorses the Centre’s repositioning
The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa has been hailed for coming up with a great repositioning concept that will steer the Centre to great strides in addressing the TC changing needs of Africa. This was during the Phase II 3rd sitting of the Steering Committee at the Lake Victoria Serena Hotel, in Kigo, near Kampala, February 27-28, 2017. The Committee chaired by Makerere’s University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe unanimously endorsed the recommendations of the recently concluded CTCA regional meeting that included the Centre’s repositioning. They noted that this is a wise idea that will transform the Centre into a ‘go to’ in response to the different needs of Africa, considering that countries are at varrying stages of implementation.