The Lancet Oncology Commission report says Nigeria lost about 5.9 billion dollars to cancer deaths and other cancer-related factors in 2019. The Chairman, Lancet Oncology Commission for Sub-Saharan Africa, Prof. Wil Ngwa, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the public presentation of the report titled; “Lancet Oncology Commission: Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
Dignitaries at the public presentation of the Lancet Oncology Commission Report on Wednesday in Abuja.
While presenting the highlights of the report, he said that cancer was greatly impacting economies in the region with Algeria losing 2.6 billion dollars, Angola 1.2 billion dollars, Benin 209.2 million dollars, Botswana 500.6 million dollars and Burkina Faso 270.6 million dollars to the disease.
Ngwa said that cancer killed more than COVID-19 in 2021 in Africa and had caused more than 28,000 children’s death in the region in 2020. He added that as a result of COVID-19, it was estimated that there would be one million deaths per year by 2030 due to cancer in Africa.
Ngwa also said that the continent must address cancer with equal urgency, as it did with COVID-19. He also said that the challenge of cancer now faced by Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was enormous and likely to worsen rapidly if adequate measures were not taken including international collaboration.
Ngwa, however, said that cancer in Africa was characterised by late stage at presentation, delayed diagnosis, limited access to treatment, and poor outcomes relative to other geographic regions Former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that there were various interventions by the Federal Government to reduce the burden of the disease in Nigeria.
He, however, said that what was most important was political action and not just political will.
“The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) provides health insurance to all Nigerians and cancer screening is one of the key deliverables in that document.
“So, Nigeria is likely to become one of the first countries in Africa to have cancer screening covered by health insurance.
“What we now need to do moving forward is to go on with the idea of revitalising the eight cancer centres in Nigeria.
“Things are moving up but we need to scale them up because we have more than 200 million people, so we need to improve on access, care and funding.
He added that the Cancer Health Fund was a unique innovation where people with cancer were now supported financially.
As for the region, he said that actionable plans that should be explored includes precision cancer control improving, improvement of data acquisition and cancer registration, designing health-care systems that promote equity of access and increase of cure and care improvement.
Others are effective palliation as an integral and key part of cancer care, building and maintains ace of workforce, innovation and research and identification of barriers to implement and test strategies.
This is for the adoption and scale-up of recommended approaches that can substantially increase access to cancer prevention and treatment and increase survival.
The Editor-In-Chief, Lancet Oncology Commission, Prof. David Collingridge, said that the constant long suffering and mortality driven by infectious diseases, malnutrition and poor maternal and child health in Africa was now being affected by the growing incidence of cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Collingridge said that the double burden of disease was a consequence of lifestyle and behavioural changes and a shift in the patient population demographics to an ageing population.
“The health of the people in this part of the world where fragile health systems are under financed, under resourced and understaffed needs to be a global concern and needs to change,” he said.
He, however, said that the report advocates skin cancer research and increase in the use of telemedicine and other new technologies.
According to him, the report emphasises the importance of implementation research in clinical care pathways and enhanced service delivery.
Collingridge said, “In terms of financing, the commissioners suggests that financing should be initially prioritised for the most cost-effective measures.
“Cost-effective measures such as vaccines for prevention of preventable cancers, more affordable treatments that affect the greatest clinical cost benefit ratios.
“The recommend that transparent and dedicated revenue stream should be established with the input from international collaborators as needed to finance these specific measures.
” Collingridge said that each nation across Africa would need to adapt the recommendations to suit their specific situation, adding that with political determination and a coordinated approach across the region and the world, improved cancer care was achievable.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commission was created to inquire into, describe and analyse the state of cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa and recommend key actions to address the growing challenge.
It brought together experts on all aspects of cancer control from Africa and around the world.
Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 74 per cent of deaths worldwide, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Every two seconds, a person aged less than 70 dies of such a disease, the global health Agency asserted.
The WHO reported on Wednesday said that Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes contribute to 80 per cent of all premature deaths by NCDs. It is clear what must be done, said the WHO director of non-communicable diseases, Bente Mikkelsen, in Geneva.
However, people must implement prevention practices, including reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, eating a healthy diet and getting more exercise and fresh air.
Eight-five per cent of ill people live in low- and middle-income countries, the WHO said, meaning they often have little chance of receiving adequate treatment.
Meanwhile, the Lengthy and expensive healthcare costs for NCDs, combined with the loss of income from time off work, pushes millions of people into poverty every year, stifling development, the WHO noted.
Additional aid could bring these countries a net economic benefit by helping people return to work.
According to the WHO reports, non-communicable diseases kill 41 million people each year.
The reports added that if effective interventions were implemented, 39 million lives could be saved by 2030 and countless people could live longer and happier lives.
The WHO is launching an interactive data portal through which the situation can be monitored in each country.
Among other nations, the portal shows that Sweden, Norway, Italy and Australia have the lowest rates of NCDs. The portal can also be used to make comparisons.
For example, in contrast to Germany, France has greater problems with obesity and poor nutrition; however the French are more physically active.
Italy has greater alcohol abuse, but less cardiovascular disease than Germany.
Comprehensive data is not yet available in all countries, it however said.
A Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) has called on the Federal Government to create a special fund that will help to take care of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The NGOs at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday called on the Federal Government to use part of the revenue accrued from the Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax to prevent and control NCDs. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the NCDs listed are heart diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes; they are described as the leading causes of death worldwide.
The news conference was to herald the 2022 Global Week of Action on NCDs, which will feature a workshop on cancer disease and it will attract stakeholders from the health sector.
Mrs Gloria Okwu, the Programme Coordinator, Project Pink Blue (PPB) said that NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to over seven out of 10 deaths worldwide.
She said that changing social, economic and structural factors such as more people moving to cities and the spread of unhealthy lifestyles had fueled NCDs crisis, and had killed 15 million people prematurely before the age of 70, annually.
According to her, 85 per cent of these premature deaths occur in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) including Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the world’s fourth highest consumer of SSBs commonly known as soft drinks.
An estimated 38.6 million litres of soft drinks are sold in Nigeria annually “Of particular concern is overconsumption among adolescents as indicated in a study where 97 per cent of the 1000 respondents consumed at least 35cl of soft drink daily.
“A 35cl bottle may contain as much as nine cubes of sugar, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that individuals should take less than 10 cubes per day.
People who consume one or two bottles of SSB per day have 26 per cent more chances of developing Type 2 diabetes than people who rarely drink them.
“The consumption of SSB like soft drinks has been implicated in eleven cancers and there is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 10 cancers: bowel (colorectal); gallbladder; kidney; liver; oesophagus; ovary, pancrease; prostate (advance); post-menopausal breast and womb (endometrial),’’ she said.
Mrs Omei Bongos-Ikwue, Health Communication Specialist, noted that several studies had linked the consumption of SSB to diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, dental caries and certain types of cancer.
According to her, evidence shows a strong association between being overweight and diabetes mellitus with excess sugar intake being a strong causal factor.
She said that consumption of SSBs had been associated with inadequate intake of several important nutrients, and higher risk of bone fractures among girls.
Bongos-Ikwue said that the WHO had made it clear that one of the effective tools for reducing obesity rates and other related NCDs “is through implementation of taxes to increase the prices of SSBs by at least 20 per cent.
” She called on the government to imbibe the Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of NCDs, which the SSB tax was included in its menu of policy options to regulate SSB consumption.
She said this had been adopted by several countries.
Mr Elijah Elijah, the Vice President, Nigeria Cancer Society, called on the government to collect more tax from the SSBs to the health sector, especially for the prevention of NCDs, treatment and support.
He also called on the government to mandate the producers and sellers of the SSBs to ensure that every of their product came out with packaging label policies.
According to Elijah, nutrition tables on SSB packaging are confusing the average consumer.
He said that a simple warning label would help to guide consumer’s choices of any product he or she wished to take, and it would encourage healthy behaviours.
Mr Godwin Ugbor, Grants and Sustainability Manager, PPB, said the annual Global Week for Action on NCDs sought to ensure NCD prevention and management as well as to get the attention and action the diseases deserve.
He said that financing for NCDs had stagnated at a pitiful one to two per cent of development assistance for health for two decades, causing many millions of deaths and pushing millions more into extreme poverty due to healthcare costs and disability.
He said that investment was needed to turn the tide on NCDs, adding that the “Global Week of Action is a call to the government in this direction.
” Ugbor also called on the media, civil societies, donors, international agencies, private sectors and all other stakeholders to get involved by identifying and suggesting sustainable solutions for effective investment in the health sector.
Aidez Small Project International (ASPI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has identified low coverage of testing and treatment as gaps that must be addressed to achieve the Hepatitis Global Elimination Goal by 2030.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of ASPI, Mr Moses Owharo, made the assertion on Wednesday in Abuja during a outreach on Hepatitis diseases in Jikoko community, Mpape, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the medical outreach was organised to commemorate the 2022 United Nations World Hepatitis Day usually celebrated on July 28.
Owharo said that Nigeria Government developed the National Health Promotion Policy (NHPP) in 2006, and that with this policy we must strengthen the health promotion capacity to make the country healthy.
He said the government must strengthen the health promotion capacity of the national health system to deliver healthcare that is promotive, protective, preventive, restorative and rehabilitative to every citizen of the country.
The CEO disclosed that the National Health Policy (NHP) recognised that Nigeria was saddled with an unbearable burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to him, there is no attention to key social determinants of health, coupled with issues such as low levels of health, poor sanitation and inadequate health facilities to care for the masses.
“World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis, encourage actions and engagement by individuals, partners and the public.
“There is need to highlight a greater global response as outlined in the World Health Organisation (WHO) global hepatitis report of 2017,” Owharo stressed.
BirdLife International has called for the increased push for the safeguarding of protected and conserved areas at the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) in Kigali, Rwanda.The congress – the first gathering of stakeholders focussing on protected areas brought together more than 2400 participants from 53 African countries to deliberate on the role of Protected and Conserved Areas (PCAs) in nature conservation, protecting Africa’s wildlife, delivering vital ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development while safeguarding cultural heritage.Africa has about 6 km2 of PCAs which provide food and water security, erosion and flood control, disease control, climate regulation, carbon sequestration and a host of other critical ecosystem services which underpin human welfare and wellbeing. However, these PCAs are grossly underfunded According to the IUCN, Africa suffers a shortfall of 80% - 90% on available funding for PCAs management.At the congress, there have been calls for the development of a fund dubbed A Pan-African Conservation Trust (A-PACT) to help mobilize resources for the conservation of Africa’s PCAs, in addition to leveraging on other funding instruments including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Nature Africa programme.“This inaugural APAC is an opportunity for stakeholders to link up and work in a coordinated manner to ensure resources and efforts go to the right places and for the priority efforts.For example, the discussion around investing in Key Biodiversity Areas identified as conservation priorities using standard criteria is a good starting point. In addition, the lessons shared regarding various innovative financing mechanisms discussed in the congress provide good opportunities.The BirdLife Partnership is working is supporting the management of various protected areas and communities around them, an example being the Gola Landscape in Liberia and Sierra Leone”, explains Paul Kariuki Ndang’ang’a, Interim Regional Director for BirdLife International, Africa.With the planet facing loss of 83% of animal species and 50% of plant species occasioned by human activities, the role of protected areas must be emphasized, and the BirdLife Partnership in Africa is championing In Southern Africa, for instance where BirdLife and partners are working to save vultures whose populations have declined by up to 97%, more than one million hectares of Vulture Safe Zones (VSZs) have been established.Linked to this is the conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) which contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity across terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. Under the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) currently under negotiations, one of the key aspects championed is the effective management of a scaled-up system of protected areas covering 30% of the planet’s land and ocean areas by 2030, which focus on KBAs and other areas of importance for biodiversity.Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs), play a prominent role in the conservation of PCAs. IPLCs are critical partners in helping achieve ecosystem protection, conservation, and restoration. By working with Partners and local communities through our ’local to global’ approach, we have demonstrated significant conservation success, which can be replicated in protected areas across the continent, by putting people at the heart of conservation.In West Africa, MAVA Foundation, partnering with BirdLife International has made significant contribution to the conservation of protected areas in West Africa, which is home to critical habitats for endangered marine species and helped conserve priority coastal habitats, promote sustainable fisheries through minimising bycatch while strengthening local communities’ capacities to address conservation.“MAVA has been key in empowering the BirdLife Africa Partnership in the region. We now have ten BirdLife partners in ten West African counties. In addition, we have a strong team of experts within the Secretariat for West Africa, split into 3 offices – in Dakar, Accra, and Sao Tomé. With a cross-cutting strategy for the conservation of birds and biodiversity, for the benefit of nature and people, we have an advanced and diverse projects portfolio for the region.Informed and innovative, relying on tools proven to be efficient, such as the Important Bird Areas, our Partners are involved in the protection of marine, coastal, and terrestrial landscapes. For instance, Nature-Communautés-Développement (NCD) is supporting the co-management approach of the Tocc-Tocc wetlands Community Reserve in North Senegal. The Society for Conservation of Nature in Liberia (SCNL) and Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) are co-managing the transboundary Gola Forest landscape, between Liberia and Sierra Leone.Biosfera is supporting designation of new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Cabo Verde. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) established the Lekki Conservation Centre in 1990 to serve as a biodiversity conservation and environment education centre in the country.Further, the BirdLife secretariat is co-managing the Obô Natural Parks of São Tomé and Príncipe. APAC has been an extraordinary opportunity to share our experience and put our actions into perspective, as we thank our financial partners, and in particular the MAVA foundation, for entrusting us”, explains Jean-Baptiste Deffontaines, Head of West Africa sub-regional office at BirdLife International.A key outcome of APAC, which concludes today, is the Kigali Call To Action, which calls for the identification, recognition and empowerment of all custodians of nature in Africa , including IPLCs’, women, youth, working with governments, civil society, and private actors to lead the way in conserving Africa’s rich biodiversity through protected and conserved areas.Further, the Call to Action, underlines the need for more public and private financial investment in the conservation of protected and conserved areas, while championing the role of PCAs as nature-based solutions to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, says the ministry will support the North East livestock sub sector with about 2 million free vaccines.Abubakar made this known in a statement by Mr Mohammed Gana, Information Officer in the ministry on Friday in Abuja.He said this at the 2022 Nationwide Free Mass Vaccination Campaign against Transboundary Animal Diseases in Dadinkowa, Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State.The minister was represented at the event by Dr Maimuna Habib, the Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control and Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria.He said the ministry would support Gombe State and other states in the North East Geopolitical Region with about 2 million Free Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Newcastle Disease (ND) vaccines, among others.Abubakar said that livestock production was a major means of livelihood in Nigeria which employed about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, helped food nutrition and security as well as means of livelihood for majority of the country’s rural dwellers.” The Ministry has policies and National programme for the control of these diseases, while it is the policy for routine vaccination for all diseases, it is our policy as a country not to vaccinate against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, also known as Bird flu. ” Over the years, the policy of CBPP, FMD, PPR and ND control in Nigeria has been routine annual vaccination” However, the vaccination coverage has been limited by inadequate resources. But going forward, we intend to scale up vaccination coverage as more resources become available.” Nigeria’s Livestock population is put at about 22.3 million Cattle; 53 million Sheep; 99.8 million Goats; 9.2 million Pigs and over 425.7 million Poultries, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, kept by majority of Nigerians especially in rural and semi-rural settings,” he said.He said that the full potentials of these animals and the attendant socio-economic benefits they provided could not be guaranteed unless they were in a state of good health.Abubakar said this could only be achieved through vaccination against diseases like CBPP and FMD in cattle; PPR in sheep and goats, and NCD in chickens.He urged Development Partners and Non-Governmental Organisations to key into this initiative by supporting the states with more vaccines and the logistics needed to carry out the mass vaccination in the country.”He said collaboration with neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic was also needed.He appealed that the exercise should be taken as a call to national service and to give it the best attention it deserved and ultimately, all those involved shall be part of making history.” Nigeria should join other nations of the world to control and eradicate these dreaded diseases of cattle, poultry, sheep and goat from our national herd,” he said.The Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya , said this was the third time the exercise was being carried out under his administration and commended the Ministry for its tireless efforts and commitment in ensuring the control of these animal diseases.The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Mr Muhammad Magaji, said it was the first time that zonal vaccination of animals was being carried out.Magaji expressed happiness and delight that Gombe had been chosen as the flag-off point in the North-East.Mallam Madibbo Yahaya, the Chairman Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Gombe State Chapter, thanked the Federal Government for the programme which was geared towards achieving increase in food production, generating more revenues for farmers and sustaining the diversification in the agriculture sector. (
The Federal Ministry of Health has launched Version One of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Data Initiative (TCDI), a virtual (web-based) dashboard to provide information on tobacco prevalence and other parameters in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, at the launch on Tuesday in Abuja, said the ministry in partnership with Development Gateway, developed the TCDI, to commemorate the 2022 ‘World No Tobacco Day’ with the theme “Tobacco: A threat to our environment”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World No Tobacco Day is commemorated globally on May 31 every year.
However, due to other National engagements, Nigeria has chosen to mark the day on June 28.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the prevalence of the use of tobacco was increasing worldwide.
According to WHO, tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing up to half of its users with more than eight million deaths recorded annually around the world.
It said more than eight million of those deaths were the results of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million resulted from non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke or what some call “passive smoking”.
Mamora said, to deepen the implementation of the graphic health warning intervention, the ministry in partnership with the Management Sciences for Health (MSH), was implementing a nationwide graphic health warning awareness project.
“We are using the project opportunity to also sensitise the public to the need to comply with the provisions of the law such that tobacco products shall not be sold in single sticks or sold to and by persons less than 18 years of age.
“It is still important to remind us that winning the war against tobacco use is a joint responsibility. I would like to take this opportunity to urge Nigerians to avoid tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke.
“Quitting tobacco is beneficial because it will decrease your risk of many diseases. It will also protect even babies, children and women as they are the topmost victims of second-hand smoke,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to report infringements on provisions of the National Tobacco Control Laws and Regulations to the Law Enforcement Agencies.
According to him, beyond the environment, tobacco use, including exposure to second-hand smoke, has contributed to 12 per cent of all deaths from heart disease and is the second leading cause of cardiovascular disease, second only to high blood pressure.
He said that while these numbers were bad for tobacco users, it was important to remember that nearly 900,000 people were killed by breathing in second-hand smoke.
“In addition to heart disease and hypertension, tobacco use and second-hand smoke cause other notable non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like stroke, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
“From the 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), 5.6 per cent (4.5 million) Nigerians 15 years and older currently use tobacco products of which 3.9 per cent (3.1 million) are current smokers.
“The result also found high and significant exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) during visits to public places with the prevalence of 82 per cent in , 36.3 per cent in coffee shops, 22.3 per cent in universities and 29.3 per cent in restaurants.
“The Tobacco Atlas sixth edition estimates that more than 26,800 annual deaths occur from tobacco-related diseases in Nigeria.
“Similarly, a report of studies by the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, which was published in 2021, corroborated that 29,472 deaths were attributable to smoking in Nigeria,” he noted.
The minister said that globally, there was a coordinated effort to hold accountable the people behind this ugly trend.
“The campaign for this year’s World No Tobacco day also aims at exposing the efforts of tobacco companies to “greenwash” their reputation by presenting themselves as environmentally friendly.
“The campaign opens our eyes to the environmental impact of the entire tobacco cycle, from its cultivation, production and distribution to the toxic waste it generates.
“According to WHO report, every year, tobacco production contributes 84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air; this is equivalent to 3 million transatlantic flights.
“Tobacco companies use up nearly 600 million trees every year in producing cigarettes.
“Globally, tobacco companies expend about 22 billion tonnes of water every year in tobacco production, this is the equivalent of 15 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded improperly every year, making it the single largest type of litter in the world,” he explained.
Mamora said that while efforts were ongoing at the global level to address the damages caused by tobacco use, the FMoH had not relented at the country level with so many responses.
“For instance, the Federal Government of Nigeria with effect from June, 1, 2022, commenced implementation of a new three-year tobacco tax regime which will end in 2024.
“This new regime increased the Ad-Valorem tax rate from 20 per cent to 30.
“In addition to the 30 per cent ad-valorem, a specific excise rate has been increased from ₦58 to ₦84 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and this will further be increased to ₦94 per pack in 2023; and then ₦104 per pack in 2024.
“Also, Shisha is now taxed at the rate of ₦3,000 per litre and ₦1,000 per kilogram and this will be increased yearly by ₦500,” he disclosed.
He said that this pro-health tax was an effective public health control measure against behavioural risk factors aimed at reducing the demand and consumption of tobacco products.
“It also prompts tobacco users to switch expending their resources on tobacco products to healthy alternatives such as education, health, nutrition, etc. This is good thinking.
“ In compliance with the National Tobacco Control Act, 2015 and Regulations 2019, the Ministry, with support from the National Tobacco Control Committee (NATOCC), has commenced screening and issuance of an operational licence to qualified major tobacco businesses in Nigeria.
This is “with the view to profiling and monitoring tobacco industry activities nationwide.
“In addition, the tobacco industry must ensure that the unit packages of all their tobacco products have the approved text and health warning message so that the public, especially tobacco users, are made aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use,” he added.
In his goodwill message, WHO Country Rep, Dr Walter Mulombo, commended tobacco control advocates for defending the flag of the country through different initiatives to combat tobacco use.
According to Mulombo, saying ‘no’ to tobacco is saying ‘yes’ to life.
“Let us save lives around us by making them aware of the threats tobacco poses to all of us.”
According to NATOCC’s Executive Director, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, there is the need to get Tobacco Industry players to be accountable for the harm they cause to the environment and the people.
Oluwafemi reiterated that Tobacco threatened more than just the health of its users.
According to him, “let’s not allow tobacco to turn our happiness into ashes. Let’s be a part of the solution not part of the pollution”.
NAN recalls that some of the sidelines of the event were an award presentation by WHO, to Mrs Margaret Julius, for her advocacy work on ‘No Tobacco in Nigeria’, in collaboration with the Nigerian Police, among others.
Meanwhile, the theme for this year’s campaign, “Tobacco: A Threat to our environment”, is aimed at creating awareness about the environmental impact of tobacco, to educate people on the dangers and health risks of tobacco use, and ultimately to prevent and control the use of tobacco around the world.
Tobacco damages the environment by contributing grossly to global warming.
The environmental damage comes from the various stages of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution and usage.
Within the health arena, it is well documented how environmental factors are so closely interlinked and can often be traced as the root cause of poor health and well-being.
Therefore, we must work together, taking action in promoting the elimination of tobacco use both locally and globally. .
The Federal Government says it has started the implementation of the N10 taxation per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) to reduce the incidences of Non-communicable Diseases.Mr Dennis Ituma, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, made this known in an interactive session at a Policy Breakfast Meeting in Abuja on Thursday.The meeting was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce SSBs consumption in the country.According to Ituma, customs has started the implementation of taxing all companies producing SSBs since June 1st, 2022, this he said started with the sensitisation of the companies on the need for the taxation.“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account.“It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages.“Only alcoholic drinks and tobacco generates N414 billion, SSBs will further increase the revenue generated from drinks.”On how customs would ensure that the companies were properly taxed, Ituma said the service designates resident customs officers to all factories producing SSBs who take the measurements of all daily productions.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the taxation of N10 per litre tax on SSBs on Dec. 2021.A member of the coalition and CEO TalkHealth9ja a Public Health Physician, Dr Las Eze called for a well defined policy framework that would support direct transfer of any money that accrues from this tax to certain health interventions.“That is an advocacy to ensure that whatever additional revenue coming from this is channelled to diseases that may be caused by excessive consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.“Such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, certain types of cancers, obesity and so many others.“Also there has to be accountability and efficient utilisation of these resources. At these monies will be part of the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government, which basic health care provision fund takes not less than one per cent every year.“There has to be further push, although the primary purpose for us in pushing this tax is not for government to make more money, it’s to discourage excessive consumption of SSBs,” Eze said.He, however, added that if there was money coming additionally from it, those resources should also go into controlling and helping to reduce the burden of health conditions that arises from SSBs,’ that is our goal as a coalition.’Also speaking at the meeting, Mr Jekeli Usman, Assistant Clark, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Federal House of Representatives, commended the coalition on the success of its advocacy.He assured the coalition that the National Assembly would all in its power to ensure that the funds when generated were judiciously used through its budget appropriation and oversight duties when the funds were finally released to healthcare agencies.Mr Musa Umar, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning on his part urged the coalition to engage policy makers in the implementation of the SSBs tax fund.Umar said it was important to get those at the high level of policy making involved in the advocacy to get their commitment to channel the funds from the tax to health issues that resulted out of the excessive consumption of SSBs.NAN reports that excessive consumption of SSBs is a risk factor for obesity, NCDs like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and tooth decay.The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 20 per cent excise tax on SSBs.The meeting had in attendance high-level stakeholders including the Ministry of Health,Finance, National Assembly, Nigeria Customs, World Bank and NASR Coalition.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the third edition of its global “Walk the Talk’’ is to raise awareness on the need for Nigerians to be active and healthy.
Dr Walter Kazadi, Country Representative, WHO Nigeria, said this in Abuja on Saturday during the third edition of the programme, tagged “Walk the Talk: The Health for all Challenge.’’
He said it was the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the walk is an opportunity to get everybody on board to beat the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which are on the increase.
He said it was also to raise awareness to remind Nigerians that there is the need to be active to beat NCDs.
“We are supposed to be active every day at least for 30 minutes,“ he said.
He also said that the Walk the Talk event marks the beginning of activities of the World Health Assembly.
“The focus for the 2022 World Health Assembly is Health for peace and peace for health.
“Peace is at the centre of everything people do and without peace, there’s no health,’’ Kazadi said.
He said that the walk is a global campaign for all to be active for a healthy life.
He called it an opportunity to promote solidarity and a healthy lifestyle.
“Walk the Talk is not a fitness competition but an opportunity to develop healthy lifestyle.” (
WHO welcomes the establishment of a new Group of Heads of State and Government to accelerate progress towards the SDG target for noncommunicable diseases: a one-third reduction in “premature” deaths from diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart and lung disease, and mental health promotion. Health & Wellness.
The decision was made at the inaugural International Strategic Dialogue on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and the Sustainable Development Goals, held today in Accra, Ghana, where a new Global Compact on NCDs was launched. The dialogue was co-sponsored by WHO, along with the Governments of Ghana and Norway.
The Heads of State highlighted the urgency of the NCD pandemic, which kills 7 out of 10 people worldwide due to risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution. .
NCDs are largely preventable and treatable, almost 7 million lives could be saved with just US$0.84 per person per year between now and 2030. This investment would generate more than US$230 billion in economic and social benefits and prevent nearly 10 million heart attacks. and strokes globally by 2030.
The Group of Heads of State and Government announced that it will bring together the countries that defend the NCD agenda and will meet annually at the UN General Assembly. The first meeting is expected to take place in September 2022.
The NCD Compact will focus on five key areas of commitment:save, by 2030, the lives of 50 million people from dying prematurely from NCDs by implementing the most cost-effective measures to prevent and control NCDs; protect the 1.7 billion people living with NCDs by ensuring they have access to the medicines and care they need during humanitarian emergencies; integrate NCDs into primary health care and universal health coverage; comprehensive surveillance and monitoring of NCDs; and meaningfully engage the 1.7 billion people living with NCDs and mental health conditions in policymaking and programming.
The economic, as well as health, benefits of investing in NCDs was a clear theme in the Dialogue. Norway has been a pioneer in investing in the fight against NCDs, investing internationally, becoming the first donor country to include NCDs in its international development strategy.
Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo, President of Ghana, outlined Ghana's successes in implementing tobacco demand reduction measures and introducing NCD management guidelines, but also highlighted the challenges for low-income countries to accelerate action.
Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Afuko-Addo, President of Ghana:
“Addressing the NCD phenomenon requires leadership to give visibility to NCD issues. I ask my fellow Heads of State to join me as we establish a Presidential Group (non-binding) and find solutions for NCDs with a roadmap for universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. In our time, this will be our legacy.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization:
“In addition to the lives they take, NCDs take a heavy toll on economies, reducing the number of people in their most productive years. Overcoming this challenge requires technical, financial and, above all, political commitment. I thank the governments of Norway and Ghana for establishing the first Global Group of Heads of State and Government on NCDs and launching the Global Compact on NCDs 2020-2030.”
Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway:
"Investing in stronger health systems, service delivery and NCD prevention will make vulnerable populations more resilient to COVID-19 and future pandemics. This is also critical to promoting universal health coverage. NCDs and access to treatment and medicines must be a central component in efforts to improve pandemic preparedness and response, and to better build back in post-pandemic recovery."
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa:
“Noncommunicable diseases account for almost a third of deaths in Africa, where they not only pose a serious threat to health and well-being, but also a compelling socioeconomic development. Today's commitment marks a crucial step in accelerating progress against these diseases and their risk factors, as well as the suffering and deaths they cause."